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Councils want flooding landfill costs returned

Waterlogged household goods dumped in landfill because of the recent flooding is estimated to total almost 30,000 tonnes, landing local authorities with more than £2.25m in landfill tax.

The figures come from the Local Government Association (LGA), which says that items severely affected by flood water cannot be recycled as they are classed as ‘contaminated’.

The LGA is calling for the extra landfill tax revenue to be returned by the Treasury to support local jobs and growth.

Councils have visited flood-hit areas to collect household items such as carpets and furniture and dispose of them. 

An average 1.66 tonnes of household goods and freezer waste has had to be removed from each of the 16,500 homes and businesses that have been flooded, the LGA estimates.

Peter Box, environment spokesman, said: “Councils have been pulling out all the stops to help businesses and households that have been ravaged by the floods.

“This has included taking about 30,000 tonnes of flood-damaged household goods, like furniture and freezer waste, to landfill sites.

“We are calling on the Government to allow councils to keep all of this landfill tax. This money could make a major difference in helping councils to continue their sterling work with the massive clear-up and returning households and businesses to normality.”

How local authorities responded

West Lancashire

Borough council vehicles immediately visited areas affected by the flooding to collect materials such as carpets and furniture and disposed of them. Landfill tax costs are levied on Lancashire County Council as the relevant disposal authority.


An online tool called SWIM has been designed to help recovery efforts in the aftermath of serious flooding. The tool lets public bodies, volunteer flood wardens and residents keep track of the numbers of flooded properties and people evacuated from their homes.


Dedicated webpages support residents and businesses affected by flooding and help with the city’s recovery. The pages include information for people whose homes have been affected by flood water, details about road closures and waste collections, as well as specialist advice for business owners.

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