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Valpak's Blog brings to you thought provoking articles, from key members of staff, on a wide range of environmental topics.

Trash Talking: Counting the Cost of Landfill

Adam Tominski
Jun 01, 2015

With the announcement of the increase in landfill tax and that it will continue to rise in 2016, now is an opportune time to review the waste you are sending to landfill.

Let’s consider first the where, when, what and why of landfill tax. Landfill tax was first introduced in 1996 at just £7 per tonne to encourage efforts to minimise the amount of waste produced within the UK and increase options such as recycling, composting and recovery. It is applicable to all waste which is disposed of to landfill sites.

Between April 2011 and April 2014 Landfill Tax has increased by £8 per tonne each year. This April (2015) has seen the tax calculated using the Retail Price Index (RPI) and rounded to the nearest five pence.  This has resulted in the tax moving to £82.60 per tonne.

When you want to reduce the amount you’re sending to landfill the best place to start is by conducting a waste audit. Once you know what goes in your bins it is possible to start to analyse and further understand your waste and where it is produced. Could any of the waste be prevented? Can any waste be re-used e.g. reusing cardboard boxes, shredding materials to use as filling material? Is all the waste in the general waste container actually non-recyclable? Most of you will know that cardboard, film, paper, bottles and cans can all be recycled, but is this happening? Is landfill the only option for the waste if the above options are not possible, could it go to Energy from Waste (EfW), Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) or Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF)? Only in a few situations we find that landfill is the only option available.

Applying the waste hierarchy to your waste will help you to see how costs can be reduced by recovering materials for recycling or preventing the waste in the first place. I and the rest of the Recycling Services team can help you by performing free waste audits and help you to analyse how to get the most out of what is going into your general waste. Should you wish to, we can even help you achieve zero waste to landfill status. 

You can join our Landfill Tax and Recycling Prices Update webinar on 16 March 2017, book your place here, or visit our Events and Training page to book onto our other events

If you have any questions or would like to book a waste audit please call 01789 208 715 or email

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.