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Avoiding the EU Landfill Tax caused the F&M outbreak

Contractors ‘sold top soil contaminated with foot-and-mouth virus’ - Times Online
The second wave of the foot-and-mouth outbreak in Surrey is likely to have been caused by contaminated soil from the Government’s Pirbright scientific research laboratory, an official inquiry has been told.

It is alleged that contractors working on the £121 million modernisation programme at the laboratory collected soil contaminated with live virus at the site and sold it as top soil. ...

The allegations, if proven, will bring new embarrassment to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Under government guidelines, waste from any site dealing with live disease viruses requires a disposal licence from the Environment Agency, but Defra, which took charge of the modernisation works at the laboratory, appears to have overlooked the need for such a licence in this case.

Top soil is sold for £10 a cubic yard and a lorryload would be enough for 20 cu yards or £200. The cost of dumping in a landfill site would be £2 per cu yard for inert soil or £40 for 20 cu yards.

But given that the Pirbright laboratory was handling live virus and there was potential for hazardous waste, the landfill charge should have been at least £24/cu yard or £480 for 20 cu yards.

To correct The Times those charges are just the Landfill Tax rates - the owner of the hole in the ground would also charge for the use of his hole.

So yet again we see how the mad EU mandated Landfill tax causes flytipping and pollution, this second outbreak has cost a minimum of £100 million so far...

Comments

UK landfill tax in fact predates the EU Landfill Directive, and is not the primary policy instrument with which the UK responds to the demands of the Directive. That would be the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme.

The landfill tax has always been a "nice little earner" dressed up in green. Ever since it was introduced there has been pressure on site developers not to pay for the disposal of spoil that would otherwise have been removed from site. Much of the "site landscaping" now undertaken would more truthfully be described as "landfill tax avoidance".

But if it has got to go off site, then finding someone who would buy it from you is a winner both ways.

My only surprise is that it has taken so long for a problem to arise.

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