Viridor supports calls for Defra action

Viridor, a UK-based renewable energy, waste management and recycling company, says it backs a House of Commons select committee calls to alter the UK's waste policy if the nation is to avoid missed recycling targets and the loss of energy resources.

The firm is currently investing over £1 billion (€1.25 billion) in 'next generation' recycling and energy recovery infrastructure to help its local authority and business customers translate zero waste policy into practice.

Responding to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report 'Waste Management in England', Dan Cooke, director of external affairs, comments: 'This important report should be a real wake-up call for the UK government and the sector. Whilst recycling has been a real UK success story to date, the decision to ask Defra to take a back seat was a mistake. There is broad consensus that we need to keep our foot on the waste policy accelerator.

In the report, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Anne McIntosh said: 'Defra "stepped back" from waste management at a time when we need both a more ambitious approach to recycling and waste management and stronger government leadership to help drive up static recycling rates in England and make better use of energy recovery options such as local heating for homes and businesses. Ministers must now show that waste and resource policy remains an important priority.'

Cooke concludes: 'In 2013/14 UK exporters of refuse-derived fuel shipped over 2 million tonnes of British resources overseas. The cost to the UK was up to £192 million with the loss of energy resource capable of powering over 312,000 British homes or circa 1.3% of the UK population.

'If we aim truly to see waste as a resource, why or when is it sensible for UK taxpayers to pay for the privilege of powering industry in Dutch and German cities as opposed to heating homes and helping business here in our own country? It's a Jekyll and Hyde policy of lost opportunities for UK energy security, jobs and investment.'

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