Household waste sent to landfill
The Council is in a transition period, projecting to reduce landfill to below 10% by April 2022. The reduction is being achieved through encouraging waste avoidance and minimisation, improved recycling and composting and the conversion of household residual waste to a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) from which energy is recovered.
We aim to reduce household waste to be in the top quartile by 2022
December 2019 performance
Household waste to landfill dropped by 2.19% points relative to the previous reported figure of 23.94%. This was largely a result of further increasing RDF diversion from landfill, as HWRS residual waste had almost returned to the quarter 3 levels in 2018-19.
In the previous update a risk that the Q3 rate could rise again was flagged as a result of the drop in RDF diverted from landfill. The rate has however actually decreased further, but at a slower rate than in Q1-2. RDF offtake has been at good levels during the first few weeks of 2020 and into February and March. As COVID-19 hit, operations were adjusted and in some cases loose RDF was produced in order to maintain the levels of landfill diversion.
There are significant uncertainties going forward about the impact that COVID-19 will have on all waste arisings, the economy and therefore end markets such as RDF and indeed, how long the effects might last. It is hard to therefore quantify the future impact of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring the situation and remain aware that the impact will not be to be realised until 2020/21. However, so far at least, Covid has not disrupted the rate of RDF offtake.
Operational issues with the baling and handling of RDF being prepared for export for energy recovery in the EU have meant we have not met the expected target. In such instances the fall-back disposal outlet is landfill.
Previous operational issues experienced are now under control and work is being undertaken to maintain the daily target number of loads leaving the site for energy recovery.