The only landfill in Hertfordshire currently accepting waste is Westmill in Ware, and this only has permission to continue receiving waste until 2017.The construction industry consumes 420 million tonnes of materials each year. Of these materials, 120million tonnes is wasted. Of this waste, 25 million tonnes is disposed of in landfill. Landfill sites are in short supply, produce local environmental impacts, and the transport of waste to landfill sites creates more CO2 emissions.
The amount of waste produced in Hertfordshire is approximately 2.4 million tonnes per year, around a quarter (600,000 tonnes) of which is household waste.
Within the construction industry 13% of waste is new, unused material. (BRE)
Typically, more than 85% of demolition waste materials from construction processes can be reused or recycled.
Recent studies of housing projects show that by taking care in selecting and specifying commonly used house-building materials, it is possible to increase the use of recycled material by up to 600% – 8% by value - avoiding over 60 tonnes of waste being landfilled; without spending more.
The European Landfill Directive set targets requiring a progressive decrease in the amount of biodegradable waste landfilled.
The National Waste Strategy 2007 has set new targets for recycling and composting of household waste (at least 40% by 2010, 45% by 2015 and 50% by 2020) and the recovery of municipal waste (at least 53% by 2010, 67% by 2015 and 75% by 2020).
In 2006-07, the County and District Councils spend more than £54 million collecting and disposing of municipal waste. These costs are increasing significantly each year in line with the landfill tax escalator.
In 2009/10, 44.5% of Hertfordshire’s municipal solid waste was recycled and composted, with a further 4.9% going into energy recovery plants.