Brexit serves among the key reasons why dump sites in the country would decline to 50 areas. This could have influenced the higher waste incineration rate in 2016-2017 when more than 10 million tonnes of waste have been burned compared to 5.5 million tonnes in 2012-2013.
In the U.K., cardboard recycling and other waste disposal methods will have to be more sustainable by 2020, as the number of landfill sites becomes fewer.
Fewer landfills are a good sign that the waste management industry doesn’t see it as a sustainable solution, but it shouldn’t stop there. There has to be a noticeable effort in patronising modern disposal methods. On the other hand, the landfill tax has been helpful in discouraging waste collectors from further adding rubbish on dump sites.
Instead, non-biodegradable waste has served another purpose by powering Energy-from-Waste (EfW) plants. Many companies have exported them to other European countries with more than 3 million tonnes of overseas shipments in 2016. However, a hard Brexit threatens this trading activity that should be addressed soon.
If Brexit makes it more difficult to export waste overseas, then waste incineration would be more common. By April 2019, a report estimated that the country would burn more than 12 million tonnes of waste, as opposed to recycling just below the same volume.
In places such as Kent, where there would be no landfills by 2021, there is a higher chance of waste incineration to take place. The good news is that many total waste management companies can handle different types of rubbish, without the need to light them on fire.
The fewer number of landfills in the U.K. isn’t entirely bad news. In fact, it may finally force the public and private sector to adopt an eco-friendly way of garbage disposal to reduce waste incineration and help in achieving a zero-waste policy on landfills.