Why should we have these types of facilities?
Ongoing concerns about climate change and energy security mean that the UK and Welsh governments are committed to generating more electricity from renewable and low carbon sources, with a target to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050.
Waste contributes 4.7% of direct greenhouse gas emissions in Wales via landfill sites.
The ERF will not only divert waste from landfill, helping to reduce carbon emissions, but also will generate renewable and low carbon energy, contributing to Wales’ climate change strategy targets.
The Welsh Government’s overarching Waste Strategy document ‘Towards Zero Waste’ sets out the long term framework for resource efficiency and waste management in Wales.
Wales has already made huge steps forwards in recycling and waste prevention:
- 53.3% recycled in 2013-14
- reduced waste to landfill by 37% and
- reduced greenhouse gas emissions from waste by 6% since 2009
- generates 46MW of recovered electricity from 400,000 tonnes of residual waste
But there is more to be done. Residual waste, which cannot be recycled or composted, can still be recovered to generate energy; the ERF will also divert that residual waste from landfill further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing towards Wales’ targets.
Wales’ waste policy Towards Zero Waste can be found at http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/waste_recycling/publication/towardszero/?lang=en
Further detail on the Welsh Government policy in respect of the treatment of residual wastes can be found in the ‘Collections, Infrastructure and Markets (CIM) Sector Plan at http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/epq/waste_recycling/publication/cimsectorplan/?lang=en