Farming News - Defra in the media on waste incineration facilities

Defra in the media on waste incineration facilities

Environment Minister Mark Spencer has issued a Ministerial Direction to the Environment Agency, to temporarily pause the determination of certain environmental permits for new waste incineration facilities.


It applies to proposed developments in England that do not yet hold an environmental permit for waste incineration. The pause took effect on 5 April and will last until 24 May 2024, but could be withdrawn earlier.

During this pause, Defra officials will lead a piece of work considering the role of waste incineration in the management of residual wastes in England. In 2022/23, almost 50% of waste collected by local authorities in England was sent for treatment at waste incineration facilities. As referenced in the Environmental Improvement Plan, we are committed to effectively halving all residual waste (that sent to landfill, incinerated or used in energy recovery) excluding major mineral waste produced per person in England by the end of 2042.

There has been coverage of this Direction by the BBC and by regional and trade media.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We are committed to reducing waste, improving recycling and meeting our net zero ambitions by sending less waste for incineration.

We must make sure we have the right waste management infrastructure to meet these goals, and are rightly considering the need for more waste incineration facilities.

While this work is ongoing, we have temporarily paused granting permits for new waste incineration facilities.