Waste sent to landfill declined by 11.8% year-on-year in the three months to June, but the amount of material subject to the lower rate of tax increased, HM Revenue and Custom (HMRC) data indicates.
Some 8.6 million tonnes of waste was landfilled between April to June, more than a tenth lower than the same period last year.
The largest decline was related to materials exempt from landfill tax, which declined by 25.5% to 1.8 million tonnes.
Standard rate declarations, which account for the largest proportion of total landfill tonnages, dropped by 15.6% to 3.8 million, continuing the declining trend of the past 10 years.
“This is possibly due to an increase in waste being recycled over this period and therefore not liable for landfill tax,” said HMRC.
Materials subject the lower rate of the tax, £2.50 per tonne, has remained fairly stable since 2004 at around 2.7 million tonnes per quarter, excluding a drop during the financial crisis in 2009. But in the three months to June, the amount rose by 6.4% year-on-year to 2.9 million tonnes.
HMRC is consulting on a proposed Loss on Ignition test regime aimed at ending uncertainty around which level of landfill tax should be applied to trommel fines.