The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has issued a consultation on options that might allow it to restrict wood waste going to landfill.
This includes looking at potential increases in energy from waste capacity using wood waste as a fuel.
As part of the Waste Policy Review 2011, the Government announced its intention to consult on introducing a restriction on the landfill of wood waste.
It is calling for evidence on the sustainable management of wood waste, including a ‘do nothing’ option.
Approximately, half of wood waste generated in the UK (2.3 million tonnes) is recycled or used for energy recovery. Around 300,000 tonnes is exported and between 0.8 million and 1.2 million tonnes of wood is sent to landfill.
The consultation document says: “The main markets for wood waste are panelboard, biomass for energy generation, animal bedding, equine surfaces, mulches, pathways and coverings, with a growing export market. The demand for wood as a source of biomass for energy generation in the UK has also been increasing over the last few years and is likely to continue to grow, if planned Waste Incineration Directive compliant plants are built.
“Our analysis estimates that by 2024, wood waste going to landfill will have declined to under 300,000 tonnes, driven by increases in the landfill tax and by subsidies for renewable energy generation.
“To drive greater diversion of wood waste beyond this trend, new policy interventions could be required. Most of the additional landfill diversion is expected to be low grade wood waste, which would be diverted to energy recovery rather than higher up the hierarchy (for example to recycling).”
The consultation closes on 28 September 2012.