Anti-energy from waste campaigners have launched a study that it says shows that incinerators operating in some EU states have the capacity to burn more than the non-recyclable waste they generate.
The report, which was commissioned by the Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives (GAIA) and undertaken by Spanish consultancy ENT, argues that Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and the UK have more energy from waste capacity than rubbish to burn.
It adds that as a result of this, shipping of waste for burning has increased across national borders leading to more CO2 emissions and contradicting the proximity principle.
GAIA European coordinator Joan Marc Simon said: “If the European Commission is to maintain its commitment to limit incineration to non-recyclables by 2020, the strategy should be to close incinerators and not build new ones.
“The objectives of the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and recycling targets won’t be achieved unless the European Commission tightly controls the European incineration capacity.
“If incineration overcapacity continues and/or is extended it will either be at the expense of taxpayers – because it will increase waste fees to compensate for the unused installed capacity – or it will hijack waste prevention and recycling – because there will not be enough waste to burn.
“The European Commission should control the supply of incineration capacity in the European market to ensure it doesn’t endanger prevention and recycling. It should also remove all the economic and legal incentives that today make burning waste preferable to recycling.”