Skip hire and waste sector trade association UROC has this week called for the landfill tax to be deferred or reduced to improve cash flow among waste businesses and help reduce any waste stockpiles.
The message to Defra, sent yesterday (March 25), explained that many UROC members who have stayed open are being “overwhelmed” with waste as they are collecting more bins than usual.
Combined with reduced cash flow and disruption to the labour force, according to UROC, this has resulted in growing concerns for the protection of human health and permit compliance.
The trade association stated that landfill tax is “one of the only taxes which has not been relaxed”, and said the waste industry risks being penalised for its efforts if it isn’t deferred.
The message to Defra lists a number of benefits to deferring the tax.
It states that a deferral would allow those open to release cash flow to keep operational, as well as reducing waste volumes and the fire risks associated with any stockpiles.
As more councils halt recycling collections due to staff shortages, UROC said that if recyclate does end up going to landfill because of capacity issues it would also be unjust” to levy the tax.
The message added that with construction work yet to be halted, not having facilities to deal with the waste arisings could lead to increase fly-tipping.
Jenny Watts, chief executive of UROC, said: “It is absolutely imperative that the waste industry is given the right tools to enable it to continue delivering essential services, by deferring or reducing the tax so the waste industry can remain buoyant”.
UROC added that its members who do not provide essential services would prefer to be told to close, as they are reluctant to do so voluntarily, in case they are needed for critical services or their competitors stay open and take away their client base.
The standard rate of landfill tax in England is set to rise to £94.15 from 1 April 2020, with the same rate also set in Scotland and Wales.
UROC is nationwide not-for-profit trade body, based in London. Its members include small, medium and large independent operators involved in the collection, treatment and recovery of waste.