The objectives of this work are to:
• determine the relative environmental impacts of municipal residual waste treatment techniques, with a particular focus on the carbon balance across different treatments, comparing conventional EfW, landfill and ATT/ACT like gasification and pyrolysis (including for chemical recycling or hydrogen production) – taking account of recent and possible future changes in the composition of residual waste, diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill and the contribution of renewables.
• determine the role these different treatments can play in moving towards a more circular economy, reduced carbon emissions and the 2050 net zero target.
• determine the relative efficiencies of these different ways of managing residual waste, highlighting any [real world] issues that might reduce this efficiency compared to other residual waste treatments.
• identify any impacts this has on the waste hierarchy, particularly in terms of where these different treatments should sit.
• identify opportunities and barriers to expansion in the newer technologies, including some analysis of the costs associated with introducing such technologies.
• appraise the potential role of external stakeholders and industry in helping achieve expansion in newer technologies, including the chemicals industry.
• identify policy options and make recommendations with full justification so that government can aim for a consistent approach to the different policies using residual waste as a resource, including for electricity generation, heat, transport fuels, pyrolysis oils, new plastic production or just for waste management.