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[greenyes] Limits set on UK landfilling of waste

Apologies for Cross-Postings

From: "James Watson" <jameswatson@no.address>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 21:24:41 +0100

From: <>


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR
Out of hours: 020 7270 8960
3 February 2005


Local authorities across England have been set limits on the amount of biodegradable municipal waste they can dispose of in landfill sites.

Environment Minister Elliot Morley, today confirmed the final allocation of landfill allowances for England's 121 waste disposal authorities.

Allocations have been set in advance of the launch of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) on 1 April this year.

Mr Morley said: "Government will be introducing the scheme to help local authorities meet the tough new targets under the EU Landfill Directive, to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill sites, in the most cost effective way.

"While the targets are challenging, this is an innovative approach which gives authorities the flexibility to decide how and when to make the necessary changes in the way they handle their waste, while ensuring that England meets national and international obligations in the most cost effective way," he explained.

As such, waste disposal authorities will be able to trade their allowances with other disposal authorities; selling allowances if their waste has already been diverted to other disposal routes - for example recycling - or buying allowances if they have no alternative but to landfill more waste than their allocation of allowances enables them to.

There will also be the chance to 'bank' for those who want to save unused allowances or 'borrow' for those that want to bring forward part of their future allocation.

Mr Morley added: "Combined with existing waste targets, this scheme will encourage the move away from landfill and towards more sustainable waste management practices."

The diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill is a key objective under the EU Landfill Directive. One tonne of biodegradable waste - such as paper, card, textiles, kitchen and garden waste - produces between 200 and 400m3 of landfill gas. Landfills released 25% of the UK's methane emissions in 2001, which represents 2% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.

In the United Kingdom, by 2010, biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill must be 75% of the amount produced in 1995; by 2013 this is reduced to 50% and by 2020 to 35%.

The scheme should benefit councils such as Isle of Wight District Council, Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council and Dorset County Council who have all taken the lead in by collecting, composting and recycling over a quarter of household waste produced in their area during 2002/03.

To assist local authorities in planning to meet their reduction targets, Defra has also launched an electronic planning tool which will help local authorities to integrate LATS with their waste strategy and enable them to make the most effective use of the flexibilities provided within the scheme.

The tool (known as M-BEAM) will been published shortly on the Waste Implementation Programme (WIP), Local Authority Support Unit (LASU) website at <>

In addition, Defra is planning a further series of seminars for local authority officers, Chief Executives and Councillors to ask any questions they may have about the scheme and to discuss how it can benefit them. The seminars will be held in March and further details will be sent to all authorities shortly.

Notes for editors

1. Article 5(2) of the EC Directive [1999/31/EC] on the landfill of waste requires the UK:
* by 2006 to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill to 75% of that produced in 1995;
* by 2009 to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill to 50% of that produced in 1995;
* by 2016 to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill to 35% of that produced in 1995.

The Directive allows member states which landfilled over 80% of their municipal waste in 1995 to postpone the targets by up to four years. The Government intends to use this four year derogation, making the target dates for the UK 2010, 2013 and 2020.

The allowances are allocated under the Waste and Emissions Trading Act at a level that will enable England to meet its obligations , as a contribution to the UK Landfill Directive targets .

2. Further information on the final allocation of landfill allowances and the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme can be found at: <>


Public Enquiries: 08459 335577
Press Notices available via Defra website
Defra's aim is sustainable development

James Watson
Tel. 01335 372788
Fax. 01335 372187
Mob. 0794-150-7688

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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