New gate fees revealed by WRAP show changes in the market

26th May 2016

WRAP’s Gate Fees Report, an annual snapshot of the market, shows the updated comparison of alternative waste management costs (2015/16) shows that gate fees across a range of technologies have remained pretty stable with only modest changes. However, Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) gate fees have increased, mainly as a result of changes in commodity markets and end market prices for recovered materials*. 

WRAP has calculated the median and range of gate fees for a number of waste treatment options, based on correspondence with local authorities and waste management companies. Detailed highlights are as follows:

The median gate fee paid by local authorities for MRF services is £25 per tonne in 2016, whilst in 2015, the median MRF gate fee was £6 per tonne. The range of gate fees at MRFs is much wider than for other technologies, and while some local authorities report receiving as much as £62 per tonne in income for their materials, others report paying up to £89 per tonne to their MRF.  A total of 30 local authorities (28%) reported that they either pay no gate fee, or receive payment from the MRF for their materials, compared with 46% last year.

Of the 122 councils surveyed that expressed an opinion, 98 (80%) expect MRF gate fees to increase in the future. This expectation was based on market prices for sale of recovered materials and the quality of input material.

Gate fees for organics and composting remain on par with previous years.  The median gate fee for Open Air Windrow (OAW) composting of green waste stays at £24 per tonne, also unchanged from the previous three surveys.  The median In-Vessel Composting (IVC) gate fee for mixed food and green waste is slightly higher than last year, standing at £47 per tonne compared with £46 per tonne the previous two years. While the median charge paid by local authorities for collected household food waste treated at Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities stays at £40 per tonne**. Although the median figure remains unchanged, recent market changes, particularly in England have meant that the overall range has expanded. For example, some local authorities have indicated AD gate fees as low as £0 per tonne, and the median gate fee for contracts signed in 2014 or 2015 is down to £25 per tonne.

The median fee paid for recycling and recovery of waste wood (all grades) collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres has remained the same as last year, at £35 per tonne. The median gate fee for treatment of waste at Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facilities is slightly below that in the previous survey.

EfW facilities constructed before 2000 have seen a decrease in median gate fees.  Gate fees have fallen to £58 per tonne, down from £73 per tonne. However, the difference appears to be due to differences in the sample response (i.e. local authorities reporting figures this year that did not report last year) rather than a move in the market. The median EfW gate fee for facilities constructed after 2000 is £95 per tonne, slightly down from £99 per tonne last year.

Table 1: Summary of UK gate fees 2015/16 (£/tonne)[1] 


Materials / Type of facility / Grade





All contracts (4 materials or more)


£0 to £5

-£62 to £89

Contracts started in 2015 (4 materials or more)


£20 to £25

£3 to £89


Open Air Windrow (OAW)[4]


£20 to £25

£9 to £57

In-Vessel Composting (IVC)[5]


£55 to £60

£22 to £61

Anaerobic Digestion (AD)


£40 to £45

£0 to £75


Household residual waste


£95 to £100

£67 to £111




£85 to £90

£22 to £131

Pre-2000 facilities


£40 to £45

£22 to £90

Post-2000 facilities


£85 to £90

£65 to £131

Wood Waste

All Grades /tonne collected from Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)[7]


£45 to £50

-£5 to £82


Non-hazardous waste including landfill tax[8]


£90 to £95

£91 to £145

Non-hazardous waste excluding landfill tax


£10 to £15

£8 to £62

  • To read Gate Fees Report 2015/16: Comparing the Costs of waste treatment options visit:
  • To make the reported data compatible and comparable to that published last year, only gate fees for mixed recyclate streams of four materials or more have been included in the analysis.
  • This survey of local authorities and facilities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland was conducted between December 2015 and January 2016.
  • *WRAP’s Materials Pricing Report found that, between January 2015 and January 2016, cans had decreased in price by 40% for aluminium and 86% for steel, with plastic bottles decreasing in price by 39%. More details on materials price changes can be found on page 34 of the full WRAP Gate Fees Report.
  • **Whilst AD offers a positive solution for unavoidable food waste, prevention of food waste remains the priority. Taking action to stop food being wasted in the first place yields the greatest benefit, and where that isn’t possible food surplus suitable for human consumption should be considered for redistribution. Food surplus that isn’t suitable for people should be considered for use in animal feed. When these options are unsuitable, then AD should be considered. For more information, see our work on the food waste hierarchy:

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits.


Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:

-          Re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,

-          Re-thinking how we use and consume products, and

-          Re-defining what is possible through recycling and reuse.

First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity.  WRAP works with UK Governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency. 

WRAP is a registered Charity No. 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 4125764. Registered office at WRAP, Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, OX16 5BH. Find out more about our work in our plan.


[1] All gate fees reported excluding haulage costs.

[2] Mode is the gate fee range (in £5 increments) which received the most responses in the survey data. Mode has not been reported in previous years.

[3] Range lists simply the ranges between the maximum and minimum data points in the survey data collected.

[4] OAW gate fee is for all waste streams sent to OAW facilities by local authorities.

[5] IVC gate fee is for mixed food and garden waste.

[6] Incineration with energy recovery

[7] Local authority reported gate fees for the onward management or treatment of waste wood.

[8] The standard rate of landfill tax for 2015/16 was £82.60 /tonne, for 2016/17 it is £84.40 /tonne


Kirsty Warren

Communications Executive Corporate PR
01295 819924