Waste Sent to Landfill: 2000-2011
The disposal of waste to landfill can result in the loss of many tonnes of valuable materials, release pollutants into the soil and watercourses, and emit methane, a greenhouse gas.
Landfill is at the bottom of the waste hierarchy.1 In Scotland, 4.68 million tonnes were landfilled2 in 2011, an increase of 3% from 2010. Local Authority Collected Biodegradable Municipal Waste (LACBMW)3,4,5 accounted for 1.02 million tonnes in 2011. Between 2000 and 2011 the total waste sent to landfill decreased by 58%, while the amount of LACBMW sent to landfill decreased by 46%. LACBMW items such as paper and card, textiles, food and garden waste decompose and release the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide.
In 2007, the Scottish Government set a target for the maximum amount of LACBMW sent to landfill of 1.32 million tonnes by 2010. This target (which was achieved in 2009 - 2011) was in line with regulations introduced in 20046, which set targets for each of the administrations in the United Kingdom to meet UK targets set in the EU Landfill Directive.7
The Landfill Tax was introduced in 1996 in order to discourage the disposal of waste to landfill. The tax rate was increased to £40 per tonne for biodegradable waste for 2009/10, and will continue to rise by £8 each year until at least 2014. The lower rate applying to inactive waste increased from £2 to £2.50 per tonne on 1 April 2008.
Email: Callum Neil
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