Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Increasing the long-term resilience of waste infrastructure to the impacts of climate change - CA0301

In the National Infrastructure Plan 2010 the Government defines national infrastructure as ‘the networks and systems in energy, transport, digital communication, flood protection, water and waste management”.

This study covers waste management infrastructure after collection with a focus on the physical assets. It considers the risks to existing infrastructure (e.g. current energy from waste plants, landfill) as well as future infrastructure and possible new technologies. The also includes consideration of operations, supply chains and any related overseas operations (e.g. the transfer of waste for recycling to third countries).

The aim of the work is to:
a) Examine the short, medium and long term impacts of climate change on waste infrastructure – this includes the international implications of climate change for waste disposal and processing, including where relevant supply chains and the use of infrastructure in other countries for treatment of the UK’s waste.
b) Examine the technical implications on waste infrastructure (including both extreme weather events and gradual impacts of climate change) and what this means operationally to the sector (including whether the impacts of climate change will affect the demands on waste infrastructure).
c) Examine how waste infrastructure needs to adapt to climate change and identify any possible opportunities for the sector (i.e. economically, innovation).
d) Examine the barriers to adapting waste infrastructure to climate change.
e) Identify:
i. what changes will be required to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change (including changes to regulation, permitting and compliance monitoring); and
ii. recommendations for action.
To inform the development of climate change adaptation policy for waste infrastrucutre.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £37,600
Contractor / Funded Organisations
A E A Technology plc (AEA)
Adapting to Climate Change