Viridor has ceased accepting material at its Ardley landfill in Oxfordshire, which instead will be diverted to an on-site energy-from-waste (EfW) facility.
The EfW facility scheme, opened by Viridor in December, is capable of processing 300,000 tonnes of non-hazardous residual waste.
The Ardley landfill facility, above, was in service for 35 years. In 1997 a set of 165 million-year-old dinosaur footprints were discovered at the site, which were covered using landfill engineering in order to preserve them.
The company has also shut its landfill site in Wangford, Suffolk, in what it called “another significant milestone”. The site will be renovated by the end of 2016 and waste is being redirected to another Viridor landfill.
Henry Austin, area unit manager for Viridor, said: “Both Ardley and Wangford landfill sites have been an important part of the waste infrastructure in their regions for many years. But it’s time to recognise that we should be looking at our non-recyclable waste as a resource that can be put to use.
“The closure of a landfill such as Ardley is an important milestone in the ongoing efforts to drive value from our waste hierarchy. Using residual waste to generate electricity is ensuring we are maximising every available opportunity and will see counties like Oxfordshire further reduce their carbon footprints.”
The announcement comes weeks after Suez, formerly known as Sita, officially closed its Packington landfill site outside Birmingham, once hailed as the busiest in Europe.
The use of landfill has declined dramatically in the past 10 years in response to the landfill tax regime. A report released in August last year by HM Revenue & Customs found there were 710 registered landfills in operation in March 2014, down from 722 a year earlier and 726 in 2012.