Statement on Waste Forecasting

16 Jul 2021

North London Waste Authority has carried out a thoroughly researched Need Assessment for residual waste capacity, in line with our duty to plan essential waste services for two million people.

As will always be the case, there are many complexities and challenges involved with forecasting waste arisings from a quarter of London’s population over a thirty-five-year period. To compound the challenge, many factors are outside NLWA’s control – including changes to legislation, economic performance, consumer behaviour and housing stock. This was acknowledged by the Planning Inspector, who said in his examining report for the North London Heat and Power Project Development Consent Order (DCO): “I conclude that the design capacity of the proposed ERF is reasonable taking the forecasts into account, and particularly the very substantial uncertainties in looking over 35 years into the future”.

NLWA recently carried out further analysis, showing a range of tonnages reflecting recent developments – including Borough Reduction and Recycling Plans, borough housing plans and the Government’s deposit return scheme. The outcomes of this individual exercise do not replace the Need Assessment. This 2020 report focused on a specific set of circumstances, and it is acknowledged in the report that the forecasts are subject to change. This includes the impacts of external factors of an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme and Covid-19.

The 2020 report suggests residual waste arisings are in line with the range indicated in the DCO Need Assessment. It is important that NLWA plans responsibly for society’s needs and plans for a range of possible scenarios. In line with our duty, we are building facilities which we can be confident will deal with the uncertainties of the next 30 to 40 years and provide the highest environmental standards for that time. You can read the report here.