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Veolia’s Energy from Waste Plants Achieve R1 Status

Veolia has achieved the R1 efficiency status across its portfolio of energy from waste plants, easing fears of volatility in the recovery, paper and wood PRN markets.

Veolia currently operates ten plants that take around 2 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste, generating around 240MWe of electricity for over 300,000 homes. All of these operational plants are now R1 accredited, including those in development.

The R1 accreditation means that energy from waste plants can be classed as ‘recovery’ rather than a ‘disposal’ process for the treatment of non-recyclable waste. The formula is designed to incentivise municipal solid waste incinerators to improve their energy recovery performance. It is not compulsory for operators of UK facilities to obtain R1 status, but a ruling that came into force last year under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 , means that only those that are R1 compliant are able to issue packaging recovery notes (PRNs).

Previously, only three plants in operation in the UK had been confirmed as having met the criteria for R1 classification, but there was an increase in the number of facilities applying for R1 status throughout 2015. As a result, energy from waste PRNs look set to face a less turbulent year, with 153,035 tonnes recovered in Q1, compared to just 21,250 tonnes in the same quarter of 2015.

Chris Taylor, Clarity Environmental’s Commercial Manager, said: “The ruling last year meant only seven operational energy from waste plants in England were able to issue PRNs, leading to a shortfall in recovery PRNs, with just half of the 500,000 tonne obligation fulfilled. The prices of paper and wood PRNs, which made up the shortfall, soared as a result.

“With PRNs increasing revenue for plants, it is in the interest of facilities to apply for R1 status, so we have fully expected more operators to apply. The latest news that Veolia’s facilities are accredited will ease any remaining fears of volatility in the recovery, wood and paper markets this year.”

The criteria for achieving R1 status is set out in the EU Waste Framework Directive and acts as a performance indicator for the level of energy recovered from waste. It is based on factors that include the energy produced by a plant and the energy contained in the waste. Where the value of R1 is calculated as being greater than 0.65, the process can be classed as a recovery rather than a disposal operation, placing it higher up the waste hierarchy.

Clarity provides waste to fuel solutions you can trust, facilitating the diversion of waste from landfill to energy from waste plants (EfW). If you are a waste producer or energy from waste facility, contact us on 0845 129 7177 to hear about our expanding network, and discover how we can help.

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