Landfill Tax

The Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) is a devolved tax on the disposal of waste to landfill and is charged by weight on the basis of two rates.  The rates for 2019-20 were announced in the Scottish Budget 2019-20 and are set out below:

  • a standard rate: £91.35 per tonne in 2019-20
  • a lower rate for less polluting materials (referred to as qualifying materials): £2.90 per tonne in 2019-20

SLfT is charged to operators of landfill sites in Scotland, and they reflect the costs of the tax in their charges to the local authorities and businesses who dispose of waste at these landfill sites. It underpins our efforts to find economical alternatives to landfill that will minimise waste and help to create a more circular economy.

Each year's SLfT rates are announced in the annual Draft Budget statement of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution. The tax is administered by Revenue Scotland with support from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

The SLfT replaced UK Landfill Tax in Scotland from 1 April 2015, following the passage of the Scotland Act 2012 and the subsequent Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014.

Further information, including guidance, forms and revenues, are hosted on Revenue Scotland's website.

Qualifying materials

A lower rate of SLfT is charged on certain materials which are deemed to be non-hazardous and low-polluting. These are listed in the Scottish Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2016. In accordance with section 13 (7) of the Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014, Scottish Ministers have given consideration of the following criteria when setting the list of qualifying materials:

Non-hazardous

Wastes which are not hazardous within the meaning of article 3.2 of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), unless the material has no practical alternative waste management option and must be disposed of to landfill.

Low potential for greenhouse gas emissions

Wastes which are not biodegradable, have a low organic content or do not break down under the anaerobic conditions that prevail in landfill sites to produce methane. These include inert waste within meaning of article 2(e) of the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) and waste with little or no organic content such as inorganic residues or completely combusted residues from the incineration of biodegradable/organic wastes.

Low polluting potential in the landfill environment

This includes all waste where:

  • the contaminants are unlikely to become mobile in the landfill and any leachate produced has little or no pollution potential
  • the pollution potential of the waste is reduced if deposited alone in mono-fill landfill sites or within separate cells (not mixed with other wastes) within a landfill site
  • the engineering requirements for the landfill are lower than would be the case for a non-hazardous landfill (as laid out in the Landfill Directive) by virtue of a risk assessment agreed with the regulator
  • the aftercare period and requirements are significantly lower than would normally be required for a non-hazardous waste landfill, based on a risk assessment agreed with the regulator