The boom in English exports of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to continental Europe continues – for now. Despite the construction of numerous new incineration facilities in the British Isles over the past two years, England exported a total of 2.82 million tonnes of substitute fuel in 2015, an increase of 450,000 tonnes and 19 per cent over the year before. Chief destination remained the Netherlands, whose imports have held steady since 2013 at around 1.2 million tonnes. Following was Germany, with direct shipments of about 671,400 tonnes of English RDF, and Sweden, importing around 393,288 tonnes.
According to England's Environment Agency, the country began exporting RDF in 2010, initially to the Netherlands but since 2013 increasingly to Germany and Sweden, and followed most recently by shipments to Denmark, Norway and Belgium. The export market began after an Environment Agency regulatory decision in 2010 expressly allowed the export of RDF, provided the waste "has undergone some sort of treatment process" and at least partially recyclable components such as metals have been extracted.
A complete report on the current RDF export statistics from England and the destinations of English substitute fuel shipments in Europe will appear in issue 04/2016 of EUWID Waste Management and Recycling. Subscribers to our print edition and online services can read more here free of charge: