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What is landfill tax?

According to HR Revenue and Customs ‘Landfill Tax is a tax on the disposal of waste. It aims to encourage waste producers to produce less waste, recover more value from waste, for example through recycling or composting and to use more environmentally friendly methods of waste disposal.’

The government’s Landfill Tax is currently £80 per tonne, rising with the Retail Price Index from 1 April 2015 to £82.60. This means that there has never been a better time than now to reduce landfill costs.

Environmental Reasons for Landfill Tax

So landfill tax encourages business to recycle waste. Here are some environmental reasons to recycle plastics.

  • In the UK, plastic made up 9% of our household waste. We currently only recycle around 24% of plastic.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency say that plastics make up 13% of the country’s waste.
  • Over 50% of litter found on UK beaches in 2008 was plastic, an increase of more than 120% since 1994
  • 75% of post consumer plastic waste is sent to landfill (Landfill tax alone is £64 per tonne & so businesses should not be doing this!)
  • Plastic bags and other plastic rubbish thrown into the ocean kill as manyas 1,000,000 sea creatures every year
  • If you lined up all the polystyrene foam cups made in just 1 day they would circle the earth
  • If you lined up all the polystyrene foam cups made in just 1 day they would circle the earth
  • Recycling just one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a 60W light bulb for six hours (Recoup)

Landfill is bad for the Environment

Not only is it great to recycle your waste but it is bad to put it in landfill.

  • Landfill sites are very ugly. And they smell. Nobody wants to live near that!
  • The waste contains toxic substances which can build up in the soil. This is dangerous and can lead to the formation of Leachate.
  • Leachate is formed when water is fltered trough the waste. It is poisonous and can pollute the land, groundwater and waterways.
  • Methane is produced by the breakdown of food and green waste in landfill as it is in an anaerobic environment. Methane has a huge impact on global warming and climate change as well as being a flammable gas.
  • Finally, the waste breaks down at a slow rate and will be a problem for generations to come.

How to Reduce your Landfill costs

Landfilling is bad for the environment and, more importantly, it’s a waste of money.

In recent years, recycling has become less of a green initiative and more of a business necessity, helping businesses to gain extra revenue streams and advantages over their competition by earning rebates that their competitors don’t.

So there are now significant economic reasons why companies have initiatives like:

  • Zero to landfill
  • Fewest miles to recycling

This is because the less that is landfilled, the more waste that is repurposed and that other companies value meaning more value to the people with the waste and the fewer miles that companies send their waste, the lower the transportation costs and the greater the rebates they can earn.

In addition to the economic incentives of minimising landfill, there is a massive economic disincentive to send waste to landfill: Landfill tax.

How can you reduce landfill costs? Well here are 4 options that we recommend:

  • Have a waste assessment
  • Segregate waste streams
  • Ask for a second opinion
  • Bale waste

Have a waste assessment

Booking a waste assessment is a means of having an expert take a look at your waste streams and making recommendations to help you to maximise the value of your waste. They can help you determine which waste streams have a value, which ones should be segregated and how to manage the segregation of waste for recycling in a manner that doesn’t have knock-on effects on the efficiency of other business processes. For us, a waste assessment is free & you’re welcome to book one.

Segregate waste streams

Recycling is most valuable to end users  (and, by extension, to the companies that have waste to sell) when waste can be segregated. If plastic is mixed with paper or if different types of plastic are mixed with each other, it becomes increasingly difficult to find suppliers who will take the waste. By segregating waste, it is easier to find a market and to get the best possible value for the waste. Segregation is easy. Some can be done by simply having different stillages, bins or dolavs for different types of waste, some can be done by using technology where necessary (ducting & gating can help with large-scale industrial processes.

Ask for a second opinion

If your current waste management company is charging you for landfilling different waste streams where you think there is a value, ask them why. If you feel that they are more interested in turning a profit than in helping you reduce your costs, you’re welcome to give us a call & we’d be interested in helping.

Bale waste

By itself, waste is often difficult to generate revenue from because it is difficult to transport. Recycling companies don’t want to be paying to transport air & so it is important to use a baler in order to compact waste for transportation and to maximise the value from it. When you think about it, you might not be able to get much clingfilm wrap in a trailer when it’s loose but you might be able to transport tonnes of it if it is compacted. Balers are a cost-effective means of reducing transport costs and can be bought or rented as part of a recycling agreement.

It is a sad fact that many waste management companies landfill waste because it hasn’t been baled rather than working with the companies that are producing this waste in order to help them to realise its true value. The good news is that it can be done and that plastics & metals can earn companies hundreds of pounds per tonne in rebates (paper and cardboard has a value but not quite in the same league as plastics & metals).

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If you have a question, please call us on 01572 718702

Please call us or fill out the enquiry form below and one of our waste assessors will call you and help you to get good advice quickly and easily. Please feel free to ask, we won’t bite!