Gate fees snapshot shows changing market picture

13th July 2017

WRAP’s annual Gate Fees Report has found a number of changes since last year.  The updated comparison of alternative waste management costs for 2016 shows a drop in Material Recovery Facilities (MRF), Anaerobic Digestion (AD), and Energy from Waste (EfW) gate fees, whilst landfill gate fees have increased.  In-vessel composting (IVC) and wood waste gate fees have remained stable.

Now in its tenth year, the survey covers gate fees charged to local authorities in the UK for a range of municipal waste recycling, recovery, treatment, and disposal options.  Some commercial gate fees are also reported, which have been provided by organic and wood waste treatment facilities.  This year’s report does not include Open Air Windrow composting, due to the stability of this market for a number of years.

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 showed an overall drop from £25 per tonne in last year’s report to £15 per tonne for the calendar year of 2016.  Although most gate fees reported ranged from £0 to £5 (ie the mode), the actual range of gate fees at MRFs is much wider than other technologies.  Some local authorities report receiving as much as £77 per tonne in income for their materials, whilst others report paying up to £99 per tonne to their MRF.

Only 20 local authorities (21%) reported that they either pay no gate fee, or receive payment from the MRF for their materials, compared to 28% in last year’s survey and 46% the year before.  It is expected that MRF gate fees will continue to fluctuate year-on-year, dictated by changes in commodity prices.

Whilst gate fees for IVC have remained on a par with previous years at £43 per tonne, AD gate fees are notably lower than last year’s reported figures.  The median gate fee for AD services in 2016 is £29 per tonne compared to £40 per tonne last year, confirming a trend that likely started in the previous reporting period.  Waste operator interviews indicated this could reflect over-capacity in the market, although this does vary from region to region.

EfW gate fees continue to decrease, from £86 per tonne last year to £83 per tonne, suggesting a slow softening of fees.  Whilst gate fees for wood waste remain stable at £35 per tonne across the country, with commercial gate fees the lowest at £20 per tonne.

Landfill services are the only area that saw an increase in gate fees in the 2016 calendar year.  Across the UK, the median non-hazardous landfill gate fee (including landfill tax) reported by local authorities is £107 per tonne, compared to £102 per tonne last year.  Feedback from local authority officers and waste contractors suggest that lack of landfill capacity in some regions due to closures could be the reason for this upward trend.

For more details, read the Gate Fees Report here and see the interactive infographic here


Notes to editors:

Table 1: Summary of UK gate fees reported by local authorities, 2016 (£/tonne)1

TreatmentMaterials / Type of
facility / Grade
MedianMode2Range3No of gate fees
contracts (4 materials or more)
to £5
to £90
Composting (IVC)4
to £50
to £60
Digestion (AD)
to £40
to £65
to £55
to £144
to £55
to £90
to £85
to £144

waste including landfill tax6
to £104
to £149
waste excluding landfill tax
to £20
to £64
Other Residual
Waste Treatment
Biological Treatment (MBT)
to £85
to £170
Waste MRF
to £95
to £117
Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) production
to £100
to £120
Wood WasteAll Grades /tonne collected from
Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)7
to £50
to £80

Table footnotes:

  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.
  3.   Range lists simply the ranges between the maximum and minimum data points in the survey data collected.
  4.   IVC gate fee is for mixed food and green waste.
  5.   Incineration with energy recovery.
  6.   The standard rate of landfill tax for 2016/17 is £84.40 /tonne.
  7.   Local authority reported gate fees for the onward management or treatment of waste wood.

Table 2: Summary of commercial gate fees provided by operators, 2016 (£/tonne)

Facility typeGate fee typeNo. of gate feesGate fee (£/tonne)
IVC – all
waste streams
to £142
to £70
to £142
AD – all
waste streams
Contract59 (3 negative)£22-£20
to £65
reprocessors – all grades
Contract95 (8 negative)£20-£10 to £60
Spot93 (2 negative)£25-£10 to £75


About WRAP

  1. First established in 2000, WRAP is a not for profit organisation and registered charity whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.
  2. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:
    1. re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
    2. re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
    3. re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling.

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