Eunomia criticise Environmental Services Association report on waste infrastructure


Eunomia has responded to the Environment Services Association (ESA) report UK Residual Waste: 2030 Market Review, by saying that it “risks sowing further confusion.”

The response comes after ESA’s report stated that six million tonnes of residual waste won’t be treated by 2030.


According to Eunomia, the review portrays scenarios that bear no relation to the current, or likely future reality.

It continues to say that by ESA excluding RDF exports and additional EfW capacity from some of the report’s results, it ignores the 4.5 million tonnes of capacity that the report identified.

Eunomia has said that by taking this exclusion into account, the results from the report’s findings would be significantly different.

While the company has said that ESA includes all of the treatment capacity it identified, it argues that the gap is still over-estimated by 5.8 million tonnes.

Eunomia put this estimation down to ESA failing to account for:

  • 1.8 million tonnes of net capacity provided by MBT
  • 2 million tonnes of waste that will still be landfilled in the future
  • 1 million tonnes of potentially lower waste arisings.

Eunomia principal consultant Peter Jones said: “While this report has clearly tried to take on board a wide range of views, it has done little to resolve the debate in this area. Instead, it takes an unrealistically bullish approach to many of the key assumptions. It therefore significantly overstates the UK’s need for residual waste treatment infrastructure, thereby risking the building of more costly infrastructure than we need.  

“In planning for residual waste treatment, we should – if anything – err on the side of caution so as not to limit our recycling ambitions today and those that we might develop in the future.”