Waste Management and Environmental Bodies

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Resources, Conservation and Recycling 20 (1997) 153–182

Environmental bodies and landfill tax funds An assessment of landfill operators in two English counties Adam D. Read a,*, Paul S. Phillips b, Alice Murphy c
a

Department of Geography, Kingston Uni6ersity, Penryhn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 2EE, UK b En6ironmental Science, Nene College of Higher Education, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, UK c Nene College of Higher Education, 11 St Luke’s Close, Kettering NN15 5HD, UK Received 5 March 1997; received in revised form 2 May 1997; accepted 8 May 1997

Abstract An analysis of the adoption of environmental bodies in two English counties is based theoretically upon an industrial interpretation of suitable environmental protection measures for the municipal waste management sector, and empirically upon a survey of waste disposal contractors in the case study regions. The Government is actively attempting to shift the emphasis of municipal waste management further up its hierarchy of waste options, so that the industry’s dependence upon an ever diminishing landfill resource is reduced. In the wake of recycling targets, recycling credits, minimisation trials and general waste related policy and legislation, the Government has enforced the landfill tax, to artificially raise the cost of landfill. However, of perhaps greater significance than the tax, are the associated environmental bodies which can be set up to reclaim up to 20% of the disposal company’s landfill tax payments, to be used for the initiation of local environmental improvement schemes. There is great scope for the use of landfill tax credits, for the reclamation and restoration of land, pollution reduction schemes, the restoration of historical and religious buildings, and most importantly for research and education programmes. The awareness of the potential of these bodies in providing positive local environmental improvement is assessed by focusing upon their adoption by, and the involvement of, private sector landfill operators in the counties of Northampton and Surrey. Environmental bodies are currently being viewed warily by the industry, with little firm * Corresponding author. Tel.: + 44 181 5472000, ext. 2509; e-mail: k968048@kingston.ac.uk 0921-3449/97/$17.00 © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII S 0 9 2 1 - 3 4 4 9 ( 9 7 ) 0 0 0 1 6 - 5

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A.D. Read et al. / Resources, Conser6ation and Recycling 20 (1997) 153–182

commitment to initiate bodies or provide funding for existing bodies. However, the results do suggest that the bodies, which are currently being set up in isolation from the landfill operators, will eventually be successful in attracting funding from landfill operators, providing an important source of funding for local environmental initiatives. © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. Keywords: Environmental bodies; Funding; Landfill operators; Landfill tax; Northampton and Surrey; Telephone survey

1. Introduction This research is a direct development of earlier work, carried out by the authors, which investigated the future role of landfill as a waste management option in the UK [1]. The research concluded that landfill dominates the municipal waste industry, accounting for in excess of 80% of all treatment and disposal in England, as noted in Table 1. This contrasts with the situation in several other European countries where alternative practices including recycling, composting and incineration play much more significant roles (Table 2). However, the majority of active landfill sites in England will be infilled and returned to agricultural or recreational use within the next 15 years, whilst landfill use has decreased during the last 5 years, in response to a range of Government initiatives [2]. The industry, both private and public sectors, is aware of the Government’s attempts at discouraging the use of landfill, and cited the landfill tax and general recycling policy as being the main thrusts for this change...
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