In 2012, UK SMEs are forecast to throw away £470m in landfill tax by sending waste to landfill when they could be saving millions by recycling and becoming more sustainable.
Research carried out on behalf of Veolia Environmental Services by SQW found last year SMEs in the UK spent £430m on tax alone through sending waste to landfill instead of recycling or recovering it. By 2020 if recycling rates don’t improve this could amount to over £4.4 billion.
These new figures will ring alarm bells with struggling businesses, reflecting that the tax they pay to send waste to landfill will rise from £64 now to £80 per tonne in two years.
The impact of rising landfill taxes on SMEs individually, and as a whole, is as follows:
• A typical SME will spend an average of £335 in 2012 on tax by sending waste to landfill, rising to £358 for 2013
• This could total over £3,600 per SME being spent in tax over a decade (between £280 and £380 each year from now till the end of 2020)
• By the end of 2020, the total tax burden on SMEs deriving from landfill tax on C&I waste could amount to some £4.4 billion*
Jean-Dominique Mallet, Chief Executive Officer from Veolia Environmental Services commented: “These figures highlight where SMEs could be saving money when it comes to paying for waste disposal. Over the last three years nationwide access to recycling services has become a reality for SMEs. Now they need to start considering alternatives to landfill when they dispose of their waste and see it as a resource that can be recycled or recovered into energy.”
“We know keeping costs down is the priority for businesses in these tough economic times and sustainable recycling will help them to pay out less and turn their waste into a resource. I’d encourage SMEs to take us up on our offer of a free recycling audit today!”
David Moore, owner of the Abarbistro restaurant in Portsmouth, commented: “As a restaurant, managing our waste levels is a continual worry. Ensuring our staff embrace recycling is a challenge, but an important thing to get right as we save around £3,000 every year through recycling of food waste, bottles and other packaging. In difficult economic times, it’s great that we can continue to cut back on costs for managing the restaurant’s waste, while being environmentally friendly.”
The research found that two-thirds of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste comes from small or medium sized firms (SMEs). The main sectors producing C&I waste are: retail (19%); food and drink (11%); chemicals and minerals (11%) and utilities (9%).
Veolia provides a number of services to help business reduce its waste at less of a cost to their bottom line. The company provides a free, no-obligation site audit to show how to minimise waste production, what materials a business can recover and how to increase recycling participation, plus identify resale or reuse opportunities for recycled materials. More information can be found at What Can I Recycle? and at www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk
About the research
* Research was carried out by SQW economists on behalf of Veolia Environmental Services in March 2012. Data for England is from Defra; data from Scotland and Wales are from their respective devolved administrations. Commercial and Industrial waste is estimated to account for around 24% of all waste arising in the UK in 2009 (household waste is around 10%). Of the 12.7 million tonnes of C&I waste going to landfill in 2009, about 8.1 million tonnes (64%) is estimated to derive from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
View Image 1 for SME forecast.
In the calculations we have estimated a 5% decrease year on year in C&I waste to landfill with 64% of this tonnage remaining apportioned to SMEs to indicate what will happen if there is no change in their waste management methods.
These figures also use Government landfill tax rate increase up to April 2014. Post 2014 landfill tax rates have been increased 2% year on year in line the Bank of England’s target inflation rate for this period.
Veolia Environmental Services, part of the Veolia Environnement Group, is the UK’s leading waste management company. With a sizeable presence throughout the UK, mainland Europe and the world, Veolia Environmental Services employs over 77,000 people in 33 countries and serves more than 800,000 business clients worldwide. Veolia Environmental Services is the only global provider of a full range of services for handling hazardous and non-hazardous solid and liquid waste. It provides waste management and logistics services as well as materials recovery and recycling. Veolia Environmental Services generated revenue of €9.08 billion in 2012.
We are committed to protecting the environment and improving the lives of the communities in which we operate and have been awarded Platinum Rating in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index for 2013.
Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is the worldwide reference in environmental services. The company has operations all around the world and provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in three complementary segments: water management, waste management and energy management. Veolia Environnement recorded revenue of €29.4 billion in 2012.
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