Budget 2013: What news for waste?

How did the 2013 Budget affect the waste industry? The Chancellor paid little attention to the sector, so many may have missed any changes – but there were some points of interest.

As expected, the standard rate of landfill tax increased by £8 per tonne, as it has done every year since the 2010 Emergency Budget. It will increase a further £8 next April, and the lower rate of landfill tax will remain at £2.50 per tonne. Meanwhile, the Landfill Communities Fund will remain at £78.1 million, and the cap on landfill operators’ contributions will increase to 6.8%. In future, unspent funds held by environmental bodies will be a contributing factor in deciding its value.

Funding cuts will affect several Government departments next year, too: Defra; the Department for Communities and Local Government; the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC); and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) will all receive reduced Government investment, which has implications for the industry.

It is still unknown what plans lie beyond 2014 for the landfill tax, and there is little being done to sustain renewable technologies, whereas fossil fuels such as shale gas have received backing. The lack of support demonstrated for green industries attracted criticism from the Aldersgate Group, a coalition of industry leaders and other groups working to promote a sustainable economy. Its Executive Director, Andrew Raingold, said:

“Rather than tax breaks for shale gas, the UK needs a clear regulatory framework that will drive investment and export opportunities for low carbon technologies.”

Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), echoed Mr Raingold’s sentiments:
“It is disappointing that repeated calls for a longer term plan for Landfill Tax to provide certainty beyond 2015 and increase investor confidence in the waste sector have not been heard.”

Recycling Lives shares CIWM and the Aldersgate Group’s concerns and notes their calls for more investment in the waste sector and more certainty about the landfill tax after 2015. As an industry leader in the recycling sector, we are also affected by the Government’s plans, and in order to make our own plans to continue working for a better environment, we need as much information as possible.

Providing information to the waste management and recycling industry enables its businesses to drive forward their agendas. In our case, this is underpinned by our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. We care about our customers, we want to improve the local economy, and we want to do the best we possibly can for society and the environment.

To this end, we are also dedicated to sustaining charity through metal and waste recycling, and operate a social welfare charity that supports homeless people to find accommodation and employment.