The Norton Rose study found that 73 per cent of senior managers view planning as the main obstacle to the delivery of waste projects, up from 25 per cent in 2006. Planning difficulties are exacerbated by the nature of waste production, particularly energy from waste (EfW), it said.
"There are opportunities being missed, for example in the use of EfW. The government has reached no overall consensus about measures to encourage use of waste biomass. EfW policy should be better organised and more focused," said Norton Rose partner Mark Berry.
A DCLG spokeswoman said that now the Infrastructure Planning Commission is in place, major waste projects will progress faster.
The poll also found that 69 per cent of senior waste management figures believe that the UK will not meet 2013 EU landfill targets. But respondents were more optimistic about reaching the 2020 EU targets, with 76 per cent anticipating they would fulfil these aims.
Norton Rose warned that if interim targets in 2013 are not met the UK could face substantial penalties.