This Technical Note follows a request at the recent Council meeting on 17th June 2021, for further information, regarding the breakdown of Landfill tax paid by the Council over a period of ten years.
Landfill tax was introduced on 1 October 1996: This was the first tax introduced with an explicit environmental purpose. The tax is collected from landfill site operators. It is charged at a standard rate per tonne on ‘active waste’ (such as plastic packaging), and at a lower rate on inactive waste (such as builder’s rubble). When the tax was first introduced, the standard rate of tax was £7.00 per tonne, and the lower rate was £2.00. The standard rate of tax has been increased steadily since 1999, and at present is set at £94.15 per tonne.
The Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014 replaced the UK Legislation and became an Act of the Scottish Parliament, introduced to the legislature in 2013 and receiving Royal Assent on 21 January 2014, which created a new Scottish Landfill Tax. The tax applies mainly to waste management companies and local authorities disposing of waste at landfill.
Whilst the Council no longer sends waste directly to Landfill for disposal, with all waste streams now being recycled, composted or diverted through a series of treatment processes, there is still a requirement for an element of our non-biodegradable construction waste and by-products from the treatment processes to be sent for disposal.
The table below highlights the final tonnage of waste disposed through landfill over the last ten year period. There is a significant reduction in waste to landfill over this time however the impact of the pandemic in 2020/21 led to an increase in overall waste arising which had a subsequent impact on the waste to landfill for this year.
|Financial Year||Final Reported tonnes to Landfill||Standard Landfill Tax|
The table below highlights the shift in costs attributable to Landfill Tax over a seven year period, paid on behalf of the authority. (financial records are not available beyond 2014/15).
|Account Code||Financial Year||Landfill Tax per Finance Ledger|
Although the Council has a requirement to report our waste sent to landfill each year, the Council does not pay the landfill tax. The Council pays a gate fee for the treatment and disposal of the waste, which will ultimately cover a percentage relating to the tax picked up by the contractor for the remaining element of waste which requires to go to landfill. It is in both the contractors and Council interests that recycling and waste diversion is maximised in order to ensure this figure is as low as possible.
Through the various recycling contracts in place from 2018, including the 25 year Viridor Clyde Valley Residual waste treatment contract, in place from January 2020, contractors provide a monthly figure for all waste treated and there should now be nothing paid by the authority which relates directly to landfill tax.