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Waste schemes will give £30bn boost

Institution of Civil Engineers wants plan to tackle waste management as landfill sites run out

THE INSTITUTION of Civil Engineers has revealed that £30 billion of business could be heading industry's way as it unveiled its plan to tackle the nation's growing waste problem.

The ICE's annual State of the Nation report, released on Tuesday, said up to 2,300 new waste management facilities, valued at about £100 million each, were needed to avoid a waste crisis as landfill sites become exhausted.

In 2003 the UK produced 430 million tonnes of waste, a figure that is increasing by 5 per cent every year.

Nigel Mattravers, vice chairman of the ICE's waste management board, said: 'This is where the construction industry comes in.Contractors need to be aware of the opportunity available here.The work required is vast.

'My concern, having spoken to a lot of contractors, is that too many firms just want to build sheds to house the waste.

'What we want from the bigger, brighter, more experienced contractor is the desire to build the entire package.'

Mr Mattravers said Mechanical Biological Treatment was the key to waste renewal.He added: 'Once contractors have been assisted technologically in building MBT facilities and gained initial experience they will be in a position to tackle a great deal of work.'

The report, which grades the country's infrastructure like a school report, showed very little improvement on last year's marks.

Rail was the only sector to advance on 2003.

It saw its grade bumped up from D to C. Tom Foulkes, director general of the ICE, said: 'This can be put down largely to the great efforts of Network Rail and its chief executive John Armitt and, in time and with patience, the sector will get there.'

Energy was the only sector to see a downgrade. Its mark of D+ last year was reduced to D.

The ICE said the Government had to approve more renewable energy schemes such as wind farms.Colin Clinton, the report's chairman and senior vice president of the ICE, said: 'The amount of time and money spent in the planning process of renewable energy projects needs addressing.

More green lights need to be given by the Government.'