The latest figures available for incineration capacity are from 2016 for England. These show there is permitted capacity for 11,360,000 tonnes of municipal and/or commercial and industrial waste.
There has been no formal assessment of the effect of waste incineration on the level of recycling. However, the latest published figures on waste managed by local authorities in England in 2016/17 show that the proportion of all local authority waste sent for recycling increased by 0.4 percentage points when compared with 2015/16. The amount of local authority waste sent for incineration increased by 3.5 percentage points between 2015/16 and 2016/17, with a consequent 3.9 percentage point reduction in the proportion of all local authority waste going to landfill over the same period.
Defra is currently looking at the overall capacity that may be needed to deal with England’s waste that remains after recycling and re-use. This analysis is ongoing and does not specifically focus on waste incineration.
We are developing a new resources and waste strategy which will aim to ensure we have the right mix of waste infrastructure that maximises its value as a resource and minimises its environmental impact.