The amount of refuse derived fuel exported from England appears to have levelled, according to provisional figures published by the Environment Agency for 2017.
According to figures released for January to December 2017, around 3,200,788 tonnes of waste derived fuel was approved for export. This compares to about 3,194,426 the previous year.
The feedstock material predominantly consists of RDF, however there is a growing amount of solid recovered fuel (SRF) being sent to the continent for incineration. In total, almost 186,191 tonnes of SRF was exported compared to 42,340 tonnes in 2016.
The Environment Agency figures for 2016 also include the shipment of some other materials for use in the incinerators and with the addition of these materials the total waste exported is just above the 2017 rate at 3,212,970
The provisional figures further support the view that RDF exports from England are continuing to level out, as more opportunities arise on the domestic market and energy from waste facilities in European countries reach their capacity. Some landfill operators are seeing their waste volumes rise a little as some RDF is landfilled instead.
In 2014, exports of waste derived fuels shot up to 2.37 million tonnes – more than 750,000 tonnes greater than the amount exported in 2013.
But, in 2015 the gap began to close, with exports rising by an estimated 450,000 tonnes on the previous year, to 2.82 million tonnes.
The recently published figures for 2017 are just under 6,362 tonnes above the level exported during 2016.