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Landfill taxed waste volumes down but exemptions up

Waste declared for landfill tax in the second quarter of the year has decreased to the lowest levels in three years, indicated figures from HM Revenue and Customs.

Some 9.7 million tonnes of waste were subject to the tax between April and June of 2013, down 3.7% in comparison to the same period in 2012.

Waste subjected to a lower rate of landfill tax, because they are considered less polluting, fell the most. The amount of less polluting materials - such as rocks, ceramics, and soils - decreased 9.3% year-on-year in the second quarter, reaching 2.7 million tonnes.

Waste taxed at the standard landfill tax rate declined 2.9% year-on-year to 4.5 million tonnes. HM Revenue and Customs noted that the volume of waste taxed at the standard rate has been decreasing slightly over the last three financial years.

“This is possibly due to an increase in waste being recycled over this period and therefore not liable for landfill tax,” it said.

The recent figures continue an overall declining trend in the volume of waste declared for landfill tax in the past 10 years (see graph, top).

However, the data indicates that waste declared as exempt from landfill tax between in the second quarter increased 2.2% year-on-year to 2.4 million tonnes. Exemptions exist for dredgings, mining and quarrying waste, pet cemeteries, material from the reclamation of contaminated land, filling of quarries and waste from visiting military forces.

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