The Environment Agency’s latest data has shown a 6.4% increase in the tonnage of materials going to landfill in England in 2015 – while the fraction of household, industrial and commercial waste continues to fall.
In all, 191.1 million tonnes (Mt) of waste was managed in 2015, slightly up on the 187Mt in 2014.
Management by landfill last year was 43.9Mt, up from 41.3Mt in 2014. This is the same total reported in 2012 ;in 2008 it was 56.7Mt.
Of the nine English regions, an increase was noted in all but London, the east Midlands and the north-west.
Adrian Judge, director of Torvik Consultancy, said the increase in 2015 was almost all down to inert and construction waste.
“This bounces around year to year, driven in part by construction activity, but also by how much inert waste goes to licensed landfills and how much goes to sites operating under exemptions. So it is difficult to draw any conclusions here.
“Of more interest is [the amount of] household, industrial and commercial, which has dropped 12%.
“Assuming a similar landfill trend across the rest of the UK, these headline figures are consistent with increases in UK energy-from-waste inputs and refuse-derived fuel exports of 1.7Mt and 0.5Mt, respectively, for 2015 when compared with 2014.”
The landfill totals are markedly greater that the tonnages reported by HMRC, which indicated a fall from 34.4Mt to 31.1MT in 2015. MRW has asked the agency to clarify the gap.