The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) this week ruled against a relaxing of restrictions for the output of waste technologies.
In particular, it will prevent the residue of Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plants from being spread on agricultural land.Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government had been jointly consulting on the source segregation requirement of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations.The majority of respondents stated that the only waste material eligible to be spread on land was that which had been segregated at source.Environment minister Ben Bradshaw said the restriction would remain in place as a temporary safeguard against the landspreading of sub-standard wastes to agricultural land to protect the environment and human health. He added: 'I have, however, asked my officials to carry out further work to find a longer-term, more sustainable solution that will encourage the development of technologies to produce high standard outputs that could be safely spread to land.'Mouchel Parkman projects director Steve Godman said that by making an announcement restricting possible outputs for alternative waste treatments, the government could risk pushing local authorities towards incineration.'Twelve major local authorities are hoping to get Defra PFI credit approval in the next 18-20 months and then come to the market. If the news from Defra had been different that may have added further strength to the idea that MBT is better than incineration.'