UK has sufficient incineration capacity, Environment Agency says
The Environment Agency (EA) has said there is sufficient incineration capacity in the UK, despite calls for more infrastructure to be built.
The remarks were made following news that clinical waste had been stockpiled by a private waste management firm Healthcare Environmental Services (HES), leading to an emergency COBRA meeting.
HES said a reduction in high-temperature incineration capacity contributed to the stockpile, which breached environmental permits at four of its six sites which deal with clinical waste.
The EA has partially suspended the permit at one HES site to prevent it from accepting any more incinerator-only waste.
A timeline for clearance of the waste has also been set with EA carrying out regular inspections at each of the company’s sites.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are taking enforcement action against the operator, which includes clearance of the excess waste, and have launched a criminal investigation.
“We are supporting the government and the NHS to ensure there is no disruption to public services and for alternative plans to be put in place for hospitals affected to dispose of their waste safely.”
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