Survey reveals fall in AD gate fees

Gate fees charged at many anaerobic digestion facilities have fallen over the past year, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Its annual Gate Fees Report showed the average gate fee at AD facilities taking food waste between December 2010 and January 2011 was £43/t, down £13/t on the previous year.

Fees (excluding collection cost) ranged considerably, from £36/t to £64/t, depending on the size and age of the facility, the nature and duration of contracts and the way in which revenues from the sale of recovered materials are shared. Fees were expected to fall further in the future.

“However, as the AD industry is still relatively young this finding is based on quite a small sample and so does need to be treated with some caution,” WRAP said.

“Key factors expected to affect future gate fees were: availability of feedstock and the increasing number of facilities, some of them expected to be large scale and additional revenue for energy and heat (making the ability of technology to deliver heat and power a key factor).”

The report also suggested the average gate fee for food-only AD was lower than that of food-only composting facilities (£50/t), but both were roughly the same for mixed food and garden waste (£42/t).

Gate fees for AD compared favourably with landfill which typically charged £76/t (including landfill tax), but could be up to £111/t.

Gate fees for waste incineration with energy recovery varied depending on a number of factors, principally the capacity and the age of the facility. As in previous reports, older pre-2000 facilities tended to have lower gate fees (£54/t) than newer facilities (£83/t).

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