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UK waste company says EU needs longer term policies

May 1, 2015

Stuart Hayward HighamStuart Hayward-Higham, Technical Director at Suez UK, said policies should last for 30 years rather than the usual 15, to reassure operators that their facilities will remain profitable.

Materials Recycling World reported on the executive’s comments, which he made at the Identiplast plastic recycling and recovery conference in Rome. Hayward-Higham said that Suez had been hurt by over-ambitious policies encouraging facility construction.

The company now attempts to protect its plants “to make sure we can handle what you’re [the plastic recyclable producers] going to be producing in seven years’ time. Otherwise we build something for yesterday and you produce something for tomorrow”.

He said: “Some of the expensive assets that we build last longer than 15 years. When we’re investing billions of pound into our business, 15 years doesn’t give us the visibility about how to make those investments.

“Gate fees have dropped from £40 ($61/€54) to £10 ($15/€13) because too many facilities were constructed off the back of policies and now not enough food is being pushed out of the system to properly sustain them.”

Suez UK is an energy supplier to the commercial and industrial sectors, which recently secured a 15-year biomass energy agreement with BWSC East Anglia Limited and Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited, to export 350GWh of electricity a year to the National Grid from the soon-to-be-built Snetteron plant.

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