Landfill is the most widely used disposal route in the UK. The cost of landfilling waste has traditionally been low and sites have been readily available. This is beginning to change however, as more stringent controls are imposed and suitable sites become more difficult to find. The landfill tax has also increased costs. For current tax rates please visit the HMRC website. The term 'landfill' is used to describe any controlled operation whereby waste is deposited to land.

Environmental problems associated with landfill include odour, litter and rodent infestation and, more significantly, leachate and landfill gas production. Leachate is the term used to describe the contaminated liquid produced as water from various sources passes through the waste. Liquid may be contained within the waste itself and its breakdown products or may enter through the infiltration of rainwater, surface water or groundwater. The exact nature of the leachate will depend upon the waste. Serious pollution of surface and groundwater can result if leachate is allowed to enter untreated.

Management practices if your waste goes to landfill

You will have responsibilities relating to the Duty of Care and should check the following important points if your waste goes to landfill.