The UK Landfill Tax was introduced in 1996 by the Conservative government, and was the UK's first environmental tax. Landfill tax was brought about to enable the UK to meet its targets set out in the Landfill Directive, which changed the way we manage waste to reduce the potential for it to pollute surface water, groundwater, soil, air, and also contribute to climate change.
The amount of tax payable is calculated according to the weight of the material disposed of and whether it is active or inert waste.
- Inert waste covers most materials used in a buildings fabric as well as earth excavated for foundations. Most forms of concrete, brick, glass, soil, clay and gravel are classified as inactive.
- Active waste covers all other forms of non-hazardous bio degradable material.
The standard rate of tax is charged on active waste; inactive waste is covered by the lower rate.
As of April 1st, 2011 the standard rate of landfill tax is £56 per tonne. The standard rate of landfill tax will increase by £8 per tonne each year from 1 April 2011 until at least 2014. There will be a floor under the standard rate at £80 per tonne, so that the rate will not fall below £80 per tonne from April 2014 until at least 2020.
The current lower rate is £2.50 per tonne; an increase from the previous £2 rate.