Waste King, the specialist collections, clearance and recycling company, has assured its customers that its charges are, at present, unaffected by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)’s recently announced changes to the rules which govern Landfill Tax. Industry commentators expect these changes, which have sent shockwaves throughout the waste management industry, to have a significant and immediate impact on the cost of waste disposal throughout the UK.


Landfill Tax contributes to the Government’s general and ‘green’ taxation objectives, including the Government’s commitment to work towards a ‘zero waste’ economy. It is the key component of the drive to divert waste from landfill to ensure that EU targets are met in 2013 and 2020.


In May this year, HMRC said that landfill tax should now be paid on material used to protect the overlying layers at the top of a landfill cell. Known as the ‘top fluff layer’, this equates to a metre of material underneath the clay cap in each cell – and, in the past, this has been regarded as engineering material and, as such, was not taxable. In addition, fines from recycling processes, grit and screenings will no longer be eligible for the lower rate of landfill tax applied to inert material – of £2.50 – and must be charged at the full taxable rate of £64 a tonne.


Waste King’s managing director, Glenn Currie, commented: “With these fines rising by more than 2,000%, operators look set to face some steep increases in their costs. Prices within the M25 have more than doubled and, in other parts of the country, there have been increases of between 30 and 40%. Waste King is carefully monitoring the situation but it’s now more important than ever that our customers look at multiple options with regard to segregation of their waste because of the major cost implications that are now involved.”


Other waste operators are rumoured to be considering introducing cost rises to customers of up to 400 per cent where skip hire is involved. Moreover, there are warnings that the recycling rate, reported by civic amenity sites and waste transfer stations, could fall dramatically as the material which no longer attracts the lower tax rate would not be counted as ‘recycled’ when used as the foundation for a landfill cap.


Comment: This is an industry-wide issue and, sooner or later, everyone will be affected in one way or another by these increases. They are ushering in the most challenging period the waste industry has encountered since the introduction of the landfill tax in 1996.


More information on the Landfill Tax changes can be found at: