Services ‘at risk’ as red diesel exemption is reduced

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From today (April 1), the government has reduced the list of companies allowed to use red diesel, which many operators use to power machinery (see letrecycle.com story).

As the body representing Scottish waste management SMEs, RMAS says it has written to the Scottish office asking for help in offsetting the impact of the ban to ensure the sector can carry out work in support government net zero targets.

This included a request to allow waste management companies to continue using red diesel until viable fuel alternatives are “in place”, as companies in the agriculture, horticulture, fish farming and forestry. However, the organization says its pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

A longtime critic of the policy, RMAS says the end of the red diesel exemption, combined with a rise in the price of oil due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, will increase operating costs for its member companies. more than 15%.

RMAS says its members face extra fuel costs of up to £400,000 a year.

The organization also suggests that ending the exemption will encourage illegal operators to undermine compliant businesses through fly tipping and other forms of illegal dumping of waste.

Our appeal to the UK Government has fallen on deaf ears

‘No kidding’

Brian Ritchie, President of RMAS, said: “Today may be April Fool’s Day, but sadly the red diesel ban is no joke.

“We are extremely disappointed that our appeal to the UK government over its flawed plans appears to have fallen on deaf ears.”

Mr Ritchie added: ‘The Scotland Office has failed to recognize the important role our members are playing in helping to achieve the government’s net zero targets.

“There also appears to be a lack of understanding on the part of ministers that resource and waste management companies were exempt from any additional financial support given to the mining, quarrying and construction sectors to help develop new fuel alternatives.”

Alternatives

One of the main concerns of the waste sector is how quickly alternative electrical equipment and more efficient diesel machinery can be developed.

Mr Ritchie said there were few viable fuel alternatives, meaning members of his organization would not be able to give up diesel “for the foreseeable future”.

It said the use of white diesel would mean its members would have to pass on significant cost increases to consumers, “adding to the current cost of living crisis”.

Mr Ritchie added that it also threatened the ‘viability’ of some businesses, having a direct impact on the level of waste management services and Scotland’s environmental management.

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