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What is the Landfill Tax and Why is it Necessary?


What is the Landfill Tax and Why is it Necessary?

What is the Landfill Tax?

Introduced in October 1996, the UK Landfill Tax is a form of tax paid by businesses and organisations who wish to dispose of their waste in landfill sites. The tax is imposed on landfill operators who add the surcharge to their existing rates. Landfill Tax is collected by HM Customs and Excise.

Why was the Landfill Tax introduced?

The Landfill Tax was introduced in an attempt to deter businesses and organisations from disposing of their waste in landfill sites and instead seek alternative methods of disposal, such as recycling.

How much is the Landfill Tax?

Since 2010, the Landfill Tax rate has increased every year. Between 2010 and 2015, the Landfill Tax saw an annual increase of £8 per tonne. Since 2015, Landfill Tax has been calculated in with the Retail Price Index.

Landfill Tax operates at two rates: a standard rate for active waste and a lower rate for inert materials.

Active waste is classified as biodegradable materials. Household waste is a common source of active waste.
– Inert waste refers to materials the are neither chemically nor biologically reactive and hence won’t decompose. Inert waste is typically collected from demolition sites or construction projects.


UK Landfill Tax

£ per tonne

From 1

April 2020

From 1

April 2019

From 1

April 2018

From 1

April 2017

From 1

April 2016

Active waste rate

94.15 91.35 88.95 86.10 84.40
Inert waste rate 3.00 2.90 2.80 2.70



Is the Landfill Tax necessary?

The Landfill Tax is a crucial measure for reducing the UK’s overall landfill use. It has been a key factor in the rise of recycling and has helped to promote a greener lifestyle across the country.

Have there been controversies surrounding the Landfill Tax?

– Some people claim that the Landfill Tax has led to an increase in fly-tipping/illegal waste dumping.
– It is alleged that the Landfill Tax has prompted the use of unlicensed waste disposal sites.
– A report by the ETRA committee warned that the tax has been a “substantial and additional burden” on local authorities. They say that the tax has diverted money away from other local authority environmental projects.

Our verdict

Though we understand the frustrations of rising landfill rates, we believe the Landfill Tax is ultimately a good thing. Here at Enfield Skips, we’re passionate about protecting the environment. We strive to recycle as much as we possibly can from the waste we collect and urge every organisation to take the same approach. The Landfill Tax is just one measure that brings us towards our goal of a cleaner, greener future.


If you’re interested in waste disposal services and would like to help the environment, trust in the team at Enfield Skips. We supply skips and collect waste from customers across Enfield, Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and the wider Hertfordshire and North London areas. We offer a variety of skips to support projects of all scales and always aim to recycle as much of your waste as possible. Contact us today to learn more.


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