Sewerage is an asset, not the solution to a problem

Since privatisation, the logic of an integrated clean and dirty water enterprise structure has dominated in the water sector. This was underpinned by the logic of scale economies, so necessary to utilities originating in a public service ethos. Is that about to change? In the "dustbin" solid waste economy, disposal taxes will have increased the upper price ceiling of waste disposal from £7 per tonne in 1997 to £100 in 2013, powering a veritable explosion of new entrants offering alternatives to landfill. Unsurprisingly, this is creating a loop back to technology innovation embracing new bio, thermo, chemical and mechanical applications able to prosper at these higher rates of reward. The stimulus is not just fiscal, however.

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