The CBI has urged the government to implement a waste strategy that would see up to £10bn in new facilities over the next 10 years.
300 of the UK’s landfill sites are due to close in the next decade and around 2,000 new waste management facilities will need to be built by 2020, at an estimated cost of £10bn, according to a report released today by the Confederation for British Industry.
The CBI is has urged the Government to be bold in its approach to waste policy and recognise its potential to deliver easy wins on a number of big policy areas, from meeting climate change targets and bolstering energy security to helping unlock infrastructure investment.
With the waste policy review imminent, the CBI is calling for a cross-department approach from the government and changes to the planning regime to deliver the investment needed in waste management infrastructure.
CBI deputy director-general Dr Neil Bentley said: “We risk missing a trick by not harnessing the huge potential of waste.
“Rather than being viewed in isolation, waste management should be seen as an important part of the green economy and our growth strategy.
“On average it takes seven years for a waste management company to get a plant up and running, of which four are spent in the planning process.
“That is not the way to attract investment. Ambitious waste policies will allow the government to hit a broad range of its objectives from cutting emissions to bolstering energy security.
“We should also be encouraging councils to share recycling and waste facilities, while businesses could be incentivised to sell their recyclable waste.”
Among the measures the CBI is calling for the government to deliver are:
- A full audit of current regulation to ensure they deliver the best environmental and economic results
- Planning certainty to attract investment – the government must recognise the importance of waste management facilities to local communities in its planning reforms
- Increased adoption of energy from waste technologies to reduce our carbon use and deliver energy security
- Improved data on commercial and industrial waste to improve policy implementation
- An incentivised approach to waste recycling that benefits small and medium-sized companies
- An integrated local policy to help different councils deliver zero waste