Landfilling now at ‘record low’ in the UK

More than 20 landfill sites have closed in the past 12 months, bringing the total number of site closures to over 150 since the UK first went into recession in 2008.

The market has seen a further drop in waste that is landfilled – a recent study carried out by BDS Marketing Research estimates that landfill sites now take less than 30 million tonnes of waste a year.

This is the first time that the sector has taken less than this amount, and is due to several reasons – the landfill tax escalator, moves to divert materials into alternative treatment routes, and a lack of granted site extensions.

According to the research, the largest national landfill company continues to be FCC Environment, with Viridor overtaking Biffa as the second largest landfill operator. Together, these three companies are estimated to have around 40% of the market.

There are however some marked regional differences. In most parts of England, the leading six landfill companies represent over 80% of the market.

Yet, in northern England, Wales and Scotland, the largest operators have a much smaller share of the market. In these areas, the shares of the leading companies represent around 70% or less of the total landfill market.

Maxine Perella

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