However, the document also highlights the fact that constructing new waste processing plants is being held back because of a lack of available finance, and claims that this is now a bigger barrier than that of obtaining planning permission.
Adam Baddeley – “The risk of overcapacity remains, in some regions more strongly than others; but at a national level, these influences suggest that we may not reach full capacity until around 2017/18”
The fourth edition of Eunomia’s Residual Waste Infrastructure Review notes that the majority of the UK will not reach overcapacity until 2017/18, but that the West Midlands and North East are currently on target to be in the same state much earlier, possibly as soon as next year.
It goes on to state that if all the residual waste treatment plants that have already been granted planning permission but are yet to be fully built come online, with residual waste remaining at current levels, there will be a 12m tonne per annum (tpa) excess in the amount of waste required to keep them operating at capacity.
The report concedes that, although the very notion of this level of overcapacity is something that needs to be dealt with, it is unlikely that such a situation will truly occur, citing the fact that once a facility is built in a certain area, it makes little financial sense to build a similar plant nearby.
Adam Baddeley, Eunomia principal consultant, said: “The development pipeline for residual waste treatment is becoming increasingly complex, and the picture is changing – not least because of the information that we are making available through our review. The risk of overcapacity remains, in some regions more strongly than others; but at a national level, these influences suggest that we may not reach full capacity until around 2017/18.”