Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

EU Landfill Diversion target consultation launched

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a consultation on how the UK meets the European Union Landfill Directive targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill.


The publication, Consultation on meeting EU landfill diversion targets assesses changes to the definition of municipal waste, UK targets, impacts on reporting and monitoring obligations, and the implications for domestic policies to divert BMW from landfill.


Defra is reviewing the UKs landfill diversion targets after discussions with the European Commission to broaden the UKs definition of municipal waste to include commercial and industrial waste for the purposes of reporting against the targets in the Landfill Directive.


The consultation states that local authority obligations to manage waste will not be amended to cover the new municipal waste definition being included in the scope of municipal waste for the first time. Local authorities will continue to manage household and commercial and industrial waste when requested. It states that the vast majority of C&I waste is managed by the private sector and we do not expect this to change.

Landfill diversion targets and LATS
The consultation explains that changing the way municipal waste is counted means that the baseline upon which the landfill diversion targets were set has to be revised and also the targets for the UK. It states that Defra is still confident of meeting the 2010 target but further progress is needed to meet the 2013 and 2020 targets.

The report also outlines that the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme will need to be reviewed for its relevance and usefulness. Under LATS, authorities meet allowance allocations, which are allocated by the Government, by diverting waste from landfill and trading allowances in order to meet Landfill Directive targets.  


It argues that LATS will no longer be a tool to specifically address the new interpretation of municipal waste and retaining it may not be a sensible approach. On the other hand, it explains that in order to meet the landfill targets it may be necessary to retain LATS as a specific driver on local authorities, some of which have already made a significant investment in infrastructure as a result.


Currently, local authorities report their LATS data through WasteDataFlow. The consultation suggests that this could be extended to the new coverage of municipal waste. It states that this option would require additional monitoring and reporting on municipal waste managed by the private sector. 


BMW to landfill could also be measured at the point of landfill, according to the consultation.


In general, Defra provisionally favours measuring BMW to landfill based on returns made by landfill operators.


Commenting on the consultation Sita director of external affairs Gev Eduljee said that since the change in definition will draw more BMW into the UKs Landfill Directive targets, Defra will have to think very hard about the delivery of alternative treatment infrastructure, to handle the much larger volumes of waste that will be coming out of our landfills.


He added: In administrative terms, Defra will need to look carefully at how the overall national diversion targets can be met without unravelling existing structures such as LATS. The most sensible solution will be to set up two parallel systems such that local authorities get on with their existing municipal waste diversion from landfill under LATS, while measures reported in the recent C&I Waste in England Statement of Aims and Actions 2009 would deal with the C&I wastes that the change in definition will now bring into play.

 

Changes to UK Landfill Diversion targets

 

 

Landfill Diversion Targets (tonnes)

Landfill Diversion Targets (tonnes)

Landfill Diversion Targets (tonnes)

 

2010

2013

2020

Previous Targets

 

 

 

England

11,200

7,460

5,220

Scotland

1,320

880

620

Wales

710

470

330

Northern Ireland

470

320

220

UK

13,700

9,130

6,390

 

 

 

 

New Targets

 

 

 

England

21,773

14,515

10,161

Scotland

2,697

1,798

1,258

Wales

1,378

919

643

Northern Ireland

919

612

429

UK

26,766

17,844

12,491

 

 

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.