£7bn recycling sector “under threat”

The UK’s multi-billion pound recycling industry is “under threat” from energy policies with too much emphasis on renewable energy, alleges a waste management firm. Remsol’s paper released yesterday suggests fossil fuels including shale gas will be […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UK’s multi-billion pound recycling industry is “under threat” from energy policies with too much emphasis on renewable energy, alleges a waste management firm.

Remsol’s paper released yesterday suggests fossil fuels including shale gas will be necessary to keep the £7bn recycling sector turning.

Arguing there is a “limit” to what wind, wave and solar power can do to meet recycling’s energy demands, it says some processes rely on gas. Concern is also raised in the paper about the constancy of the renewable energy sources.

It also claims more base load electricity could be generated by burning more Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) in the UK rather than exporting it to other European countries. Remsol says this costs around £43m a year.

In a foreword to the report, MP Dan Byles writes: “We need an energy policy that better addresses the long term energy demands of this vital sector, or we risk an exodus of jobs and recycling capacity abroad.”

Lee Petts, Managing Director of Remsol adds: “This paper shows how a circular economy built on recycling an increasing quantity of waste requires access to enough of the right kind of energy, where and when it’s needed, around the clock and every day of the year.”