What is Landfill Tax? This was the question on my lips when I was asked to write about it for the purpose of Businesses vs Landfill Tax and the benefits of recycling in this here blog.
Now, we all know that recycling is the thing to do, but how many of us really and truly consider our carbon footprint? How many small, medium and large scale businesses really think about the impression they are leaving upon the landscape – the environment? I won’t answer that, as it is nigh on impossible to answer definitively, and all we can do is begin to acknowledge and take responsibility for our actions. Ours is a society of excess, of abundance, of growth, economy and grandeur, though we may not think it. With 51.1% of waste still going into landfills, the 48.9% we do recycle is still not good enough: we need to do more.
And that is not to say change the world. I’m not here to start the revolution (yet), but perhaps what is important is to start thinking about taking small steps to being a green, carbon neutral business who do what they can to reduce waste. Besides, recycling more can actually benefit your business into saving money, believe it or not.
So, back to Landfill Tax. Landfill Tax is a tax on the disposal of waste. It aims to encourage waste producers to produce less waste, recover more value from waste, for example through recycling or composting and to use more environmentally friendly methods of waste disposal.
Landfill Tax is charged on all waste disposed of by way of landfill or at a licensed landfill site unless specifically exempt. For more information visit HMRC.
So, we are encouraged to produce less waste, but that doesn’t mean we do it.
The environmental problems caused by landfills are numerous and fall mainly into two categories: atmospheric and hydrological.
According to the EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency), the methane produced by the rotting organic matter in unmanaged landfills is 20 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat from the sun (this is bad news). Not only does methane get produced by the various forms of rotting organic matter that find their way into landfills, but household cleaning chemicals often make their way there as well. The mixture of chemicals like bleach and ammonia in landfills can produce toxic gases that can significantly impact the quality of air in the vicinity of the landfill.
Landfills also create a toxic soup of industrial and home-cleaning chemicals. People throw away everything from industrial solvents to household cleaners which naturally end up in landfills, and these chemicals accumulate and mix over time. Something we should really worry about – and I mean really – is for the welfare of the wildlife that comes into contact with these chemicals, and it is not uncommon for animals to suffer inconceivably painful deaths resulting from chemical contamination. British Wildlife is what keeps our ecosystem alive, we cannot afford to lose them.
Where I sit, in a first floor flat in Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, I am 14.9 miles away from a landfill site. If I wanted to go there, it would take me 48 minutes. I don’t know about you, but on a hot day like today, with the sun shining and only a little breeze, the people of Rainham in Essex must be having a Hell of a time.
Now, I’m not one to judge, and I’m normally not one to discriminate, but something must be done. I’m not here to give you all of the answers, but I am here to ask you to consider one: Mardon Recycling. They are here to help businesses not only reduce your carbon footprint, but save you money on landfill tax by simply recycling cardboard, plastic bottles and glass. You never know, it could make all the difference.