ESA members ready to invest £10 billion in UK recycling infrastructure

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Members of the Environmental Services Association have written a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment Michael Gove, stating that they are ready to invest £10 billion in the UK recycling and recovery infrastructure in order to meet the Government’s targets.  

The members said that they applaud the “strong ambition of the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy” and are committed to help the Government realise the Strategy’s targets through investing in the services the UK needs in order to provide a competitive, resource efficient UK.  

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They added that their respective companies have a strong track record for delivery, having already invested £5 billion in new recycling and waste treatment infrastructure this decade. 

The Government’s consultations on producer responsibility, consistent collections, plastic packaging tax, and a deposit return scheme all “present a bold and exciting direction of travel” for the sector, and one that ESA members said they want to help the Government “grasp”.  

From this, the members said that a challenge for investment has been market volatility, and critical to the success of the new package of measures is the provision of long-term underpinning stability.  

Providing that this can be secured, and the policy that comes out of the consultation process is “investment grade”, the members will be ready to invest a further £10 billion in the next ten years. 

This investment would create 50,000 jobs, and the infrastructure delivered would save over 7 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent annually, while recycling an additional 10 million tonnes of material, and creating 7.7 GWh of heat and electricity.  

Working together, the members wrote that they believe the industry and Government can build the “solid foundations” needed to make a circular economy happen. 

They are asking for the Government to meet with them to discuss fully how they can achieve the investment grade policy that is needed to produce the benefits.  

Signatories of this letter include Viridor managing director Phil Piddington, Veolia UK & Ireland executive vice president Gavin Graveson, Biffa chief executive Michael Topham, Suez Recycling UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones, FCC Environment chief executive Paul Taylor, Renewi managing director municipal James Priestley, Grundon Waste Management deputy chairman Neil Grundon, Hills Group chief executive Mike Hill, SESA chairman Michael Tracey, Cory Riverside Energy chief executive Dougie Sutherland, Castle Environment executive chairman Roger Hewitt. 

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