By value, data indicates that the market for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of controlled waste was worth an estimated £18.9 billion in 2013. Strong underlying annual growth rates have been driven by the implementation of EU Directives, aimed at reducing the volumes of landfilled waste and increasing the levels of material recovery through recycling, composting and energy-from-waste.
Above all, the impact of the Landfill Tax escalator on
landfill gate fees has made these alternative approaches more commercially
attractive. The downturn in the UK economy suppressed growth rates in 2012 due
to lower levels of waste arisings, declining prices for many types of recyclate
and the delay to many infrastructure projects.
medium-longer term, however, the key 2020 targets for both the EU Landfill
Directive and renewable energy mean that regardless of the economic situation,
central government, local authorities and businesses do not have the option of
scaling back waste reduction and recycling objectives. There remains a pressing
need for the UK to improve waste recovery rates, particularly in the commercial
and industrial waste (CIW) sector, and to develop a suitable waste collection,
treatment and recycling infrastructure in this sector.
From 2014 through to 2018, it is expected
that there will be an increase in the market growth rate, underpinned by the EU
Landfill Directive target for 2020 which will necessitate an increase in waste
recovery rates and a major increase in investment in the infrastructure needed
to deliver this, by possibly as much as £5bn.
To achieve both these aims, energy-from waste
(EfW) technologies, in particular advanced conversion technologies (ACT), will
be core to government plans to meeting both the Landfill Directive and
renewable electricity targets. Despite opposition from local interest groups
and NGOs, there are a large number of 'mass burn' EfW incineration and ACT
plants in the development pipeline that will be used to dispose of large
volumes of the 21 million tonnes of residual ‘black bag’ waste currently being
There has also been marked growth in the
rolling out of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants treating food waste, underpinned
by Landfill Directive requirements to divert biodegradable municipal waste from
landfill. From just one facility in 2005, there were over 60 AD plants taking
food waste at the end of 2013.
Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research said: “The current rate of expansion and
convergence with the EfW sector continues to attract new players into the UK
waste management industry, particularly from overseas. The market has also seen further consolidation among UK companies
over the past 2-3 years.”
By 2018, it is estimated that the market for
the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of controlled waste will be
worth around £24bn, following annual growth rates of between 3-7% per annum
during the period.
Management Market Report - 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA
Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within
the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and
can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk or by calling 01242