Landfill tax cash to be recycled back into waste industry

Millions of pounds raised by the Landfill Tax is going to be recycled back into the industry by helping businesses to tackle waste issues, the Government announced this week.

Named the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) fund, the programme, worth £284 million, will form part of Defra's five-year plan for improving the local and global environment, due to be announced next month.

The BREW fund will particularly target waste minimisation, the diversion of waste away from landfill, and making improvements in resource efficiency.

Scheduled to formally launch in April 2005, the first raft of funding will be worth £43 million and will be awarded to organisations including Envirowise, WRAP, the Environment Agency, the Carbon Trust and the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NSIP).

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Margaret Beckett said the project was aimed to encourage more sustainable production processes for businesses of all sizes.

"If businesses use these services they should be able to recoup the increasing costs of landfill by reducing the amount of waste they send to landfill as well as driving down energy use - all of which should help them become more competitive through cash savings and increasing resource efficiency," Ms Beckett stated.

The director of business environment at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Michael Roberts welcomed Defra's announcement, saying it was appropriate for revenue from the Landfill Tax to help businesses become more environmentally efficient and cut down waste production.

"A number of the schemes which will benefit from the funding are already used by companies, but they expect the money to be spent as efficiently as possible," Mr Roberts said. "It is important that Defra puts in place robust systems to make sure that as much as possible of the money taken from companies in tax is used to directly benefit them."

A steering committee of business representatives has been put in place to monitor and advise the BREW programme as it develops.

By Jane Kettle



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