The bottom line is that the UK needs to invest in the Waste sector immediately and across the board. A report published by the APSRG stated that an estimated £8 billion in financing is required by 2020 if the UK is to manage its waste, sustainable and effectively, meeting and exceeding EU and domestic landfill diversion targets. Continuing on to 2030 a total of £15 billion must be invested in the waste sector overall.
The government over all asserts that there will be enough merchant facilities in combination with Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects to meet European targets. There have been a number of questions about the robustness of the calculations that have been used for these findings.
There have been large constraints on public sector spending, the decline in bank lending, the inherent risk in waste infrastructure projects and regulatory and policy uncertainty is overall together, hindering the necessary investment in new waste infrastructure projects. To overcome these problems, an approach needs to be adopted where policy and investor certainty and risk mitigation is provided to ensure that the needed investment is made. If proper investment is made into the Waste management sector, public companies such as Lagan Water will be able to deliver services to a larger range of people.
Overall report findings
The report, Rubbish to Resource: Financing New Waste Infrastructure, makes a valiant attempt to address and overcome the investment barriers by outlining how the bankability of waste infrastructure projects can be improved.
The recommendations made by the report have been designed to target central government, local authorities, the waste industry and the finance community. If these are successfully implemented, the recommendations will stimulate the necessary investment in waste infrastructure which has been estimated by at a need of £8 billion by 2020. They provide an array of solutions to ensure that the necessary waste infrastructure capacity would be built and a range of options which would increase the ease and deliverability of waste infrastructure projects. As a positive consequence, the recommendations would help the UK to go beyond fulfilling European targets and to fully value waste as a resource.