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Institution of Civil Engineers

14 Jun 2011 04:06:47

ICE responds to government waste review

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) today welcomed the government's waste policy review but called for a move out of the rhetoric and into action.

Chair of ICE's waste and resources management panel Phil Butler said: "Government's commitment to a resource efficient economy that will unlock the true value of our waste is to be commended; however it is crucial that we now see these commitments translated into action.

"Importantly if government is serious about achieving a 'zero waste' economy we need to focus on quality and quantity of recycled materials. This will ensure that the UK gets the maximum environmental and economic benefits from recycling by meeting the increasingly stringent quality standards demanded by end users of materials.

"There will of course be environmental and economic limits to recycling and we must unlock the economic value of the residual waste by driving forward the energy from waste sector. In the past lack of local support has been a major barrier so it is very encouraging that government has committed to helping communities directly benefit from hosting energy from waste infrastructure, however this now needs to be supported by financial and regulatory frameworks, in particular, ensuring the proposed Green Investment Bank's priorities include energy from waste projects."

The leading engineering body also expressed disappointment that the government has ruled out more energy from waste projects being fast-tracked through the Infrastructure Planning Commission, a policy that would have seen nationally significant schemes move forward more quickly.

However, the institution said government's policy did address one of the biggest issues in the waste sector – the availability of information.

"To attract in private funding for waste infrastructure, investors need to be able to see a clear business case. A lack of information about the capacity of existing facilities, the different technologies and waste arisings has been problematic in the past, so we welcome the commitment to improve this. This will help bring forward much needed private investment."

For further information contact Emily Beadon, ICE's media manager.

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