WIT Press

Waste As A Resource In The United Kingdom – Energy And Sustainability


Free (open access)





Page Range

863 - 874




552 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. Arias-Garcia & R. Lambourne


In the world in which we live, where environmental issues are becoming increasingly important, seeing waste as a resource and recovering as much of its value as possible is an imperative. The aim of this paper is to offer a review of the waste management activities currently being undertaken in the United Kingdom (UK) and to provide a viewpoint on the reasons for technology choice. These reasons should be a key study focus to provide the tools for refining and improving practices. From an environmental viewpoint and looking at the global warming potential of any waste management solution, it is clear that the choice should always aim to minimise Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere. However, we still see facilities being built where the choice is far from the best environmental solution. Among the factors affecting the technology choice an important one is legislation, though it can still serve as a barrier to the successful integration of different mechanisms; in other cases the answer comes from technology limitations or economic balance. Analysing the outcomes and assessing the reasons for the technology choice in the UK is an essential exercise if we want to progress towards a truly sustainable pattern of waste management. The authors have identified a number of issues that affect waste management in the UK; namely the implementation of the Landfill Directive, the Waste Incineration Directive, renewable energy incentives and the unproven status of some technologies. The UK market represents a great opportunity for European technology providers and other sector stakeholders. However, understanding the UK business model is essential. This analysis could help European businesses that are achieving excellence in other countries to find the appropriate pathways to successfully bring the best solutions to the UK. Keywords: waste, energy, renewable, sustainability, UK, policy, efficiency.


waste, energy, renewable, sustainability, UK, policy, efficiency.