Proposed Dutch tax on residual waste would hit UK waste management

08 Jul 2019 − 

The Dutch government plans to tax wastes imported to the Netherlands for incineration or landfilling. According to information from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EAC), the tax is intended to "create a level playing field for the incineration and landfilling of all waste in the Netherlands”.

Domestic wastes sent to energy from waste (EfW) plants and landfills have been taxed in the Netherlands since 2015. Intended as a climate measure, the tax would not affect wastes imported for recycling. Around a quarter of waste incinerated at Dutch EfW plants comes from outside the country.

The new tax would especially affect waste management and recycling in the UK. The country exports around 14 per cent of residual waste from households and businesses for thermal treatment abroad and has in the past sent as much as 1.7 milion t of waste per year to the Netherlands for management at EfW plants. Waste which cannot be exported would have to be landfilled in the UK.

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