Northern Europe heading for residual treatment overcapacity

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MVA-Kesselreinigung (Foto: Kroll/ Recyclingportal.eu)

Bristol, UK – Currently, 11 countries of Northern Europe have a combined 104.2 million tonnes per year of ‘effective’ residual waste treatment capacity. But the capacity gap will fall from the current level of 53 million tonnes to a situation of potential overcapacity from 2026 onwards, says a new report published by Eunomia.

The new „Residual Waste Infrastructure Review“ focusses on reviewing the residual waste treatment capacity in UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Their overall capacity is made up of:

  • 383 dedicated EfW incineration facilities;
  • 13 advanced conversion technology (ACT) facilities;
  • 103 pre-treatment facilities (using either mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) or autoclave technologies);
  • 73 Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) compliant biomass facilities, including facilities already co-firing residual waste; and
  • 102 cement kilns capable of processing solid recovered fuels (SRF).

According to the review, the level of excess supply of treatment capacity will rise to 13.6 million tpa by 2030, thereafter decreasing to 10.6 million tpa by 2035 due to continued growth in waste arisings with no further gains in recycling to be made. Some countries like Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands have already entered into states of treatment overcapacity. This implicates that any further increase in their recycling rates will result in the further need to import RDF and SRF from other Member States.

More information is available under eunomia.co.uk.

Source: Eunomia