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More landfill sites close as waste volumes fall

9th January 2013

During the last year 30 landfill sites have closed in the UK, taking the number of closures to 130 since 2008, according to a new report.

 Although another eight landfill sites have either opened or re-opened in the last year, there has been a further drop in the amount of waste being sent to landfill, the report found.

Another 30 landfill sites closed in the UK last year, according to a report

This was attributed in part to the impact of the recession as well as local authorities grappling to pay increasing landfill tax, which rose by £8 to £64 per tonne in April 2012 and is set to rise to £72 a tonne from April 2013. As a result, the study notes that some landfill sites have completed their void and planning has not been allowed for an extension or the site has come to the end of its natural life.

The development of alternative waste treatment facilities, such as energy-from-waste and mechanical biological treatment plants, is also diverting waste from landfill, the study found.

The report estimates that the largest UK landfill firm continues to be FCC Environment Ltd, as it is the largest operator in an area extending from the south east to the north west of England.

Although the country's leading six firms represent more than 80% of the landfill market in most areas of England, the report also notes significant regional differences in the size of landfill firms' operations.

In northern England, Wales and Scotland, the largest landfill firms are estimated to have a smaller share of the market – less than 70%.