Likelihood of UK meeting landfill targets ‘underestimated’

The likelihood of the UK meeting EU landfill directive targets was ‘underestimated’, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The forecasting analysis produced by Defra in February “did not fully account for all the known potential capacity expected to be delivered by 2020,” it said. Under the EU Landfill Directive, the UK must reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill to 35% of the 1995 level by 2020. Though it is difficult to establish an exact forecast, Defra has claimed that “the most likely outcome is that there will be more capacity than required to meet the target.”

Whilst this is great news, Defra also sounded a note of caution, stating that the rate of increase in recycling rates amongst Local Authorities had slowed.

Addressing the annual conference of Larac, the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, in Nottingham, Richard Pullen, head of waste strategy and regulation for Defra, said: “You have made great progress. Compared to 10 years ago we are in a much better place. The government has made interventions, such as the landfill tax, but it is local authorities who have driven up recycling rates… [however] the rate of increase in recycling has slowed down. We are keen to work with local authorities and the industry to understand that trend and what, if any, action may be needed to ensure that we are on track to meet the 2020 targets.”

Recycling Lives is committed to diverting waste from landfill and maximising recycling rates. Processing a variety of waste streams, including electrical waste (WEEE), scrap metal and End of Life Vehicles as well as waste from our skip hire service, we maintain a 99% recycling rate across our sites.

Avoiding landfill not only makes environmental sense, it also makes business sense- high landfill taxes make it an expensive option. By working with Recycling Lives for your waste management needs, you can save money and benefit the environment by diverting your waste from landfill.

Not only that, you will also be supporting our award-winning social welfare charity, helping to tackle homelessness and unemployment in your community.