Budget provides clarity on landfill tax escalator

Buried deep in last week's budget is a titbit of information that will have those working in waste management breathing a sigh of relief - clarity over plans to steadily increase the rate of tax on waste going to landfill for the next four years.

While at first glance this might not seem a big issue, the lack of certainty over the landfill tax escalator has caused the waste industry a headache, making forward planning difficult.

Chancellor Alistair Darling confirmed that the standard rate of landfill tax would increase by £8 per year up to 2013.

Previously there had been no official line on what would happen beyond 2010.

He also announced an extra £10m for food waste infrastructure with an emphasis on anaerobic digestion, an environmentally sound but relatively expensive technology for the treatment of biodegradable waste.

Following the Budget statement Defra Minister Hilary Benn said:”The Government is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and finding alternative sources of energy.

“The £10 million for food waste reprocessing will play a vital role in providing alternative energy, diverting a further 316,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the UK we produce over 100 million tonnes of organic material every year that, through anaerobic digestion, could be used to create enough energy to heat and power over two million homes.

“And it’s not only the environment that will benefit. Increasing our anaerobic digestion capability will also stimulate a greener economy by creating skilled jobs in construction, collection and reprocessing of organic waste.”

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie