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Waste Management

Waste Management
Monday 14 March 2005
 As a result of increasingly tough legislation from the UK Government and the European Union (EU) regarding the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste, the number of low-cost options is reducing. Consequently, the rising cost of waste management is creating a growth market.
Key Note estimates that, in 1999, the market was worth £4.13bn. The total waste arising was around 418 million tonnes, with the main contributing sectors being agriculture, demolition and construction, dredged spoils and sewage sludge. Of the total waste stream, household waste amounts to just 6.2%.
The market is segmented by type of waste and includes metals, sewage sludge, paper and board, glass, plastics, tyres, textiles, electronic/electrical equipment, batteries and end-of-life vehicles. Packaging waste cuts across several sectors. Methods of collection and disposal are also covered.
The leading dedicated waste management companies are SITA Holding UK Ltd, Shanks Group PLC, Onyx Environmental Group PLC, Cleanaway Ltd and Biffa Waste Services Ltd. Companies which incorporate waste recovery in metals or paper as part of their business include ASW Holdings PLC,
St Regis Paper Company Ltd and European Metal Recycling Ltd. The industry is becoming more concentrated, with an increasing degree of foreign ownership, mainly by French companies.
There are a number of important issues currently affecting the industry. The recently accepted EU Landfill Directive will restrict landfill options and it is not yet clear what the alternatives will be and to what extent they will be used. In 1998, the dumping of sewage sludge at sea came to an end and alternatives for its disposal are also being explored. The newly accepted directive on end-of-life vehicles places a responsibility on manufacturers to dispose of vehicles, and a similar end-of-life directive is in the proposal stage for electronics and electrical equipment. Clear economic solutions to these and other specific industrial legislation have yet to be decided in the long term.
Key Note estimates that, by the end of the year 2000, the market will be worth £4.47bn, rising to £6.49bn in 2004. This assumes that sufficient investment will be made to enable the UK to reach targets required by EU directives.

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