Waste industry wants more clarity on landfill escalator

Taxes payable on waste going to landfill went up by this week but industry wants to know what the future holds for the landfill escalator.

Part of Government's strategy to encourage a switch to more sustainable forms of waste management has been to gradually increase landfill tax.

On April 1 the level of taxation rose from £32 to £40 per tonne.

Gate fees at the landfill sites are at a similar level, meaning it now costs those who want to dump waste in landfills to about £80 per tonne - a figure waste professionals feel is finally approaching the level where it might have an impact on strategic decisions.

Chris Murphy, deputy chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management, told edie:"We need something substantial to change the landfill philosophy and move us towards other technologies.

"We're getting there, I don't think we're quite there yet but this coupled with rising gate fees is starting to have an impact."

The landfill tax escalator began life at an extra £2 per year, then crept up to £5 and is now at £8. Next year it will again go up by £8 but there is no official information on what the figure will be beyond that point.

Mr Murphy said: "We've always said that the early increments were too small and until we got to this kind of figure it wouldn't have an impact on the adoption of other technologies.

"We welcome this but what we'd like is some definition from Treasury about what will happen in 2010.

"For the waste industry it would be nice to know if it will continue to go up and by how much so that we can plan for these things. We could do with some continuity and guarantees."

Sam Bond



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