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August 2007

Demand for innovative solutions creates growth potential in European waste markets

London— Rising waste volumes and growing legislative pressure have necessitated steady investments in the European industrial waste management industry. Opportunities are diverse, owing to the varied stages of market development across Europe, with Southern Europe and the United Kingdom offering good growth prospects. At the same time, the market is likely to experience a shift towards technologically advanced treatment solutions.

New research from Frost & Sullivan, European Industrial Waste Management Services Market, finds that the market earned revenues of EUR46 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach EUR54.41 billion in 2013.

“The EU waste management industry is governed by legislative and regulatory drivers that are currently emphasizing a shift from landfill towards treatment options such as recycling, materials recovery and other integrated waste management solutions,” says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Suchitra Padmanabhan. “The market is at varied stages of development across Europe, with diverse opportunities available for non-hazardous industrial waste management services.”

Surging industrial waste volumes as well as increasing demand for efficient solutions and advanced technologies is spurring market expansion. Rising public pressure and the growing importance for industrial end users of a clean or ‘green’ image is further supporting investments in sophisticated treatment alternatives.

With some regional variations, monitoring of waste is still at an early stage across Europe. This has underpinned the overall fragmented nature of market operations. Intensifying consolidation, a strong emphasis on value-added services and the provision of integrated waste management solutions are the other prominent trends that are tipping the balance in favor of large multinational companies. Such multinationals are increasingly strengthening their presence in the region, challenging smaller competitors.

“Emerging waste minimization efforts, supported by legislation, have prompted the adoption of technologies that restrict the amount of waste produced at source,” states Ms. Padmanabhan. “This obviously reduces the demand for treatment equipment and solutions that cater to large waste volumes, thereby posing a restraint to market expansion.”

The demand for sophisticated treatment technologies, which facilitate materials recovery and recycling, has accelerated, especially in advanced regions such as Scandinavia and Germany. This trend has underlined the importance of innovation and technological improvements, while also encouraging market participants to develop expertise in specific areas of waste management and add value to their client offerings.