Almost 900,000 tonnes of RDF exported from UK in 2012


Provisional figures have shown that refuse derived fuel (RDF) exports soared in 2012 to 892,908 tonnes from just 272,200 the year before.

A total of 28 companies legally exported RDF last year with Denmark, Germany and Netherlands the key markets.


SITA UK was the largest exporter sending 227,681 tonnes for processing into energy abroad.

This was followed by New Earth Solutions with 105,166 tonnes exported, then Shanks with 78,457 tonnes.

The rise in RDF exports has been enormous rising from zero tonnes four years ago, to what is likely to be more than 1 million tonnes exported in 2013.

Paul Levett, who is a non-executive director of a number of companies in the sector, said: “I’m not surprised that the latest figures show a considerable increase.

“Landfill tax is obviously an economic driver, but other major factors include landfill closures and the zero landfill policies of some waste producers.

“There is a lack of available thermal treatment capacity in the UK where EfW plants are largely dedicated to municipal waste. Banks have thus far failed to fund new thermal EfW plants for commercial and industrial waste and RDF from such waste.

“Even if funding becomes available in 2013, it would be two to three years before plants would be commissioned.”