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The future of Energy from Waste plants

The future of Energy from Waste plants

Energy from Waste (EfW) plants, like ours at Rabbit, play a crucial role in waste management in the UK. They form part of the pursuit for a low-carbon, circular economy alongside a suite of major waste management initiatives to tackle the UK waste crisis.

What is Energy from Waste?

Our Energy from Waste plant burns non-recyclable materials to produce super-heated steam and drive high-pressure turbines to produce green energy. The process maximises recycling by removing recyclable materials before burning and minimises waste headed for landfill. By co-locating the recycling and energy generation facilities, and eliminating transportation to landfill sites, we also achieve a significant reduction on vehicle-generated CO₂. Rabbit diverts over 60,000 tonnes of waste per year away from landfill sites and generates green electricity for around 8,000 homes.

An end to the demonisation of EfW?

The Environmental Services Association has called on the UK to embrace energy recovery, such as EfW, alongside recycling, reuse and waste avoidance measures. Their rebuttal and fierce advocacy for EfW follows a report by Greenpeace which stated that incinerators are more likely to be built in more deprived areas. Other criticisms of Energy from Waste plants include that they could detract from recycling rates, although Rabbit diligently removes recyclable waste from skips before processing what remains.

Further concerns have been raised about the emissions from EfW plants. However, in 2019, a study by Imperial College London found no conclusive evidence of health risks. At Rabbit, we take emissions seriously – our emissions are always below permitted levels and monitored around the clock.

Will there be more EfW plants built?

Energy from Waste is a hotly debated topic, and some MPs have expressed support for an incineration tax and a stop to new investment in EfW facilities. However, in July this year, a report from Policy Connect backed by 13 cross-party politicians presented EfW as “the best solution to the UK’s residual waste problem”. It cites EfW as an untapped potential to move waste policy away from landfill and exports and towards domestic EfW heart networks and carbon capture.

To find out more about skip hire in West Sussex and our Energy from Waste Facility, contact Rabbit. Reach us on 01903 762020 or email