The increases to landfill tax in April were described as the latest in a series of measures implemented by the government to reduce the amount of landfill waste produced by industry and the public. However, with another increase set to be implemented before April of next year, the Local Government Association has released a statement arguing that the revenue from the tax ought to be used by the government to fund the further research and development of recycling centres. This would not only generate revenue, it would also stimulate growth and employment. As reported on MSN, “if recycling levels were boosted to 70%, above the EU target of 50% by 2020, then it could create an estimated 51,000 jobs and generate an extra £3 billion in additional revenue for the UK economy.”
Landfill taxes have more than trebled in the last five years and, by not investing the money back into local authority initiatives to reduce the use of landfill sites, it seems the government are exploiting the ‘green issue’ and using the tax to create revenue for them to use in other ways. The Tayside Biodiversity Partnership has argued that the revenue created in their area ought to be used to the benefit of the whole community but making such pressures for change felt is no simple matter.
Scotland’s Zero Waste Regulations have been stipulated as being a policy designed to move the country forward to a society where waste is not waste; where there is less excess generated at the point of production and consumption and then finally where the waste itself is “seen as a valuable resource, valuable materials are not disposed of in landfills, and most waste is sorted for recycling, leaving only limited amounts to be treated.” It is a respectable aim.
The skip hire industry, along with others, has been working hard to improve their treatment of waste. At Buchanan Skip Hire, we take our environmental policy extremely seriously; 80% of materials collected in Edinburgh, Falkirk and West Lothian are recycled. This drastically reduces the amount going into landfills.
Recycling is a growth industry in Scotland, however, lobbyists would argue that with such vast sums generated from the landfill tax and the effect of this on individuals in their council tax bills, there should be more public investment rather than private in this area. Nonetheless, In terms of the immediate impact on the environment, the working practices of skip hire companies should be considered a very welcome achievement.