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Waste Disposal: Exports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 38460, tabled on 22 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what quantity of waste was exported by the UK in each of the last five years; and what the cost was of exporting that waste.

Answered on

10 September 2021

The total volume and value of waste exported from the UK in the past five years for which there is currently complete data[1] is presented in the table below. Defra does not hold information on the costs associated with exporting waste.

The vast majority of waste exported from the UK is sent for recycling or energy recovery. Exports of waste from the UK for disposal are generally prohibited, apart from in exceptional circumstances where the UK does not have the specialist disposal facilities needed.

UK Waste Exports (tonnes)

Year

Exports for recycling (HMRC trade data)

RDF/SRF[2] exports (Basel Convention National Reporting)

Exports for disposal (Basel Convention National Reporting)

Total quantity (tonnes)

Value (£)

2019

11,373,916

2,490,693

3,609

13,868,218

5,995,868,342

2018

15,843,470

3,365,815

4,281

19,213,566

6,417,928,617

2017

16,431,888

3,470,729

2,117

19,904,734

6,336,497,335

2016

16,265,212

3,543,692

9,446

19,818,350

5,135,146,164

2015

15,294,976

3,354,858

4,260

18,654,094

4,732,206,009

Sources: HMRC trade data and Basel Convention National Reporting

[1] Defra does not have complete data on UK waste exports for 2020 as the Basel Convention National Report is collated at the end of each year for the previous calendar year.

[2] Refuse Derived Fuel / Solid Recovered Fuel