Landfill is a ticking time bomb

Latest News | Policy and Regulations | Sustainability

A harsh fact to consider: landfill capacity is diminishing, with only 6.8 years left of non-hazardous landfill capacity. What to do with your construction and demolition waste to reduce cost, improve your carbon footprint and control your supply chain?

Defra statistics indicate the scale of the waste produced by construction and demolition in the UK: some 62% of UK waste produced in 2016 was from the sector.

On the other hand, it is not as though the sector simply buries its problems. Government figures published in 2021 indicate that 2018 saw a recovery rate of 93% for non-hazardous material;  67.8 million tonnes of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste were produced, of which 62.6 million tonnes was recovered. The Construction Leadership Council wants this to rise, publishing a 2020 proposal for zero avoidable waste.

At the heart of the issue is a lack of space: capacity is diminishing, with only 6.8 years left of non-hazardous landfill capacity. Recycling is the obvious answer, and something that is necessary in order to meet today’s stringent demands for sustainability.

Getting sorted

There is more, though. Construction waste needs to be processed and sorted, and waste types must be correctly coded to ensure it goes to the right place – not to mention a legal duty of care. In fact, it is only a slight exaggeration to call the lack of landfill a ticking time bomb, and, in reality, construction waste has not been simply sent to landfill for some years.

Properly processing waste material has immediate cost benefits, too. For a start, there is an obvious reduction in payment of landfill tax for waste materials. 

Improved project control will also reduce risk with no unwanted surprises due to unexpected landfill closure and fluctuations of landfill rate, but it will also contribute to a more mindful use of resources that itself reduces costs.

In addition, the environmental benefits go beyond not clogging-up landfill. Apart from less waste simply going to landfill the lower use of natural resources means lower CO2 emissions, whether from the production, transportation or use of materials or their recycling or disposing of the waste materials. Finally, less waste being transported means a lower risk of pollution incidents.

Tyrone International understands the regulatory landscape and we create our plant with the future in mind, in particular the circular economy. Rather than dealing with the headache of landfill, which will only become more difficult in the future, we can help you reduce your environmental footprint and instead make a positive impact through sustainability.

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