UK losing out on 6,000 tonnes of aluminium exported as RDF

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Around 6,000 tonnes of aluminium is being exported to countries such as the Netherlands within refuse derived fuel (RDF), according to Alupro’s Rick Hindley.

Speaking at this week’s Secondary Commodity Markets conference in Liverpool, the Alupro executive director said that 6,000 tonnes, representing 10% of the total material available for recycling each year, was being exported to countries like the Netherlands when it could be recycled in the UK.

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He added: “This valuable aluminium is being exported in RDF in countries such as the Netherlands, then it is recovered from the incinerator bottom ash and being counted in the Dutch recycling rates, when it originated in the UK.”

In his presentation he noted that aluminium recycling was now at 55% and he was cautiously optimistic this could reach the 75% target by 2025, but it would help if more of this aluminium recovered from Dutch energy from waste plants was processed in the UK instead.

CIWM chief executive Steve Lee looked at some of the factors that may impact on the recycling sector in 2016.

He warned that the public and private sector needed to share more risk on prices through model contract clauses. Some local authorities may risk not getting anyone to tended if they do not get their risk profile right in contracts, he suggesting.

During his presentation, he also noted that extended producer responsibility within the revised Waste Framework Directive could eventually have a big impact on the UK waste sector, as Article 8A calls for the producer to cover the cost of waste management.

He also revealed that he had written to Defra to ask about contingency planning in the event of the UK leaving the European Union, but had been told there is no contingency as the Government is campaigning to remain in the EU.