There were 8.6 million tonnes of incineration capacity (annual throughput capacity) in England and Wales in December 2006. 4.4 million tonnes of this was in municipal waste incinerators. There was a significant increase in waste incineration capacity in 2006, mostly concentrated in the South East where four new municipal waste incinerators and a co-incineration waste plant began operation.
A list of operational waste incineration facilities permitted by the Environment Agency together with their reported capacity for 2006 is attached. It excludes pet crematoria, permits for storage at incinerators prior to burning (permitted under waste management licensing) and small Part 'B' incinerators regulated by local authorities.
The Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permitting system identifies several categories of incineration plant. We have reviewed our facility lists since 2005 to exclude in-house incinerators that burn a company's own waste and facilities permitted as 'energy recovery' activities in order to exclude those that do not accept waste (e.g. biomass-fed plant).
Incineration capacity and inputs
The list attached categorises incinerators according to the type of waste they are permitted to burn and gives the maximum permitted throughput capacity for each facility. This covers facilities ranging from high temperature hazardous waste incinerators to those designed to dispose of animal carcasses. Although all accept waste some are dedicated waste incinerators, others are co-incineration plant that take in waste as a supplementary/ replacement fuel, and others exist to 'treat' difficult material (such as animal carcasses) and their use reflects variations in demand.
This year, for the first time, we are able to report on the amount of waste inputs received by permitted incinerators. This data shows that utilisation rates vary considerably between different types of plant* and that, because of lower than expected utilisation, the amount of waste going for incineration is less than previously estimated despite the increase in capacity in 2006.
* take-up rates appear to be well below the permitted level of waste inputs at cement kilns and animal carcasse incinerators.