Why can’t we just send waste to landfill?

Landfill isn’t a long-term solution because:

  • It produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas
  • Landfill sites are almost always outside London
  • Taxation makes it very expensive

Landfill is the least preferable option because of its impact on the environment and cost to the taxpayer. By using energy from waste, we are saving the equivalent of 215,000 tonnes of CO2 every year compared with disposing to landfill. That’s like taking 110,000 cars of the road each year.  

As waste decomposes in a landfill site it generates landfill gas – a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapour. Methane is around 25 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.

All the landfill sites that are available to NLWA are outside London so there is a cost to transporting the waste to landfill for disposal. In addition, a tax of £91.35 per tonne has to be paid on every tonne of waste that is sent to landfill and is likely to continue to rise.

NLWA is committed to saving as much waste as possible from being sent to landfill. The new facility represents a significant step towards achieving this objective.