A summary of the types of waste handled by permitted waste management facilities in 2008.
This information will be useful for local authorities, regional planning bodies and businesses involved in planning for future waste facilities. These pages form one of a series of annual reports summarising our waste data.
You can download a report summarising data for England and Wales on the right in PDF format. Detailed information at both national and regional level can be accessed from the Data Tables page on the left.
At the end of 2008 in England and Wales there were:
- 500 operational permitted landfills either meeting the requirements of the Landfill Directive, operating subject to an ongoing appeal or to an agreed landfill extension;
- 3,700 operational transfer stations;
- 1,100 operational treatment facilities;
- 2,300 operational metal recycling facilities;
- 81 waste incinerators accepting waste from off-site sources.
During 2008 regulated facilities in England and Wales managed a total of around 150 million tonnes of waste. Of this:
- 56.7 million tonnes were landfilled;
- 46.8 million tonnes were transferred, before final disposal or recovery;
- 27.8 million tonnes were treated;
- 13 million tonnes were handled through metal recycling facilities;
- five million tonnes were incinerated.
At the end of 2008 there were:
- 650 million cubic metres of available landfill capacity with 74 per cent of this available at merchant non-hazardous sites;
- 19 million cubic metres available at hazardous waste only sites;
- nearly eight years of landfill life left at sites for non-hazardous wastes in England and Wales, at 2008 input rates.
During 2008 in England and Wales, 6.4 million tonnes of hazardous waste were produced, generated from over 200,000 businesses and industry, with:
- 16 per cent landfilled;
- 20 per cent transferred, before final disposal or recovery;
- 41 per cent treated;
- 18 per cent recycled, recovered or re-used;
- five per cent incinerated.
During 2008 for England and Wales:
- 124,000 tonnes of notifiable wastes were imported;
- 187,000 tonnes of notifiable wastes were exported.
- Waste to landfill continued to decrease. It fell by over 11 per cent between 2007 and 2008 and has fallen 33 per cent since 2000. One of the principal reasons is the implementation of the Landfill Directive. Many older landfill sites that did not meet the stringent requirements of the Directive had to close by July 2009.
- Remaining capacity at landfill sites fell by five per cent during 2008. Overall, since 2000 landfill capacity has decreased by 14 per cent.
- Inputs through permitted transfer facilities increased by five percent between 2007 and 2008.
- Inputs through permitted treatment facilities have decreased by two per cent, but there was an increase of around 300,000 tonnes (10 per cent) in the waste through composting plants.
- Hazardous waste production has increased since 2004 by 26 per cent. Most of the increase is due to liquid inputs to one treatment facility on Teesside.
- In 2008 hazardous waste:
- production increased by nearly three per cent;
- landfilled increased by 26 per cent to over one million tonnes;
- treatment decreased by 7.5 per cent;
- recycled/re-used decreased by six per cent.
You can access more detailed information on hazardous waste movements submitted by operators by visiting our Data Tables page on the left.
- You can access details on the numbers of permitted waste management facilities for England and Wales, from the Data Tables page on the left.
- Because many landfill sites have closed, we will only report on the number of operational sites. This means those that have an appropriate environmental permit to continue operating, those that are still open under a waste management licence because they are the subject of an ongoing appeal and any that have a nationally agreed extension to continue operating in the short term.
Notified waste shipments 2008
These statistics relate only to the shipment of wastes that require a notification and our consent. Notifiable wastes mainly consist of those on the Amber List of the Waste Shipment Regulations and will have some hazardous component. We do not collect data on the movement of non-notifiable waste shipments.
A total of 124,000 tonnes of notifiable wastes were imported into England and Wales in 2008. This was a four per cent decrease on the amount imported in 2007. Notifiable waste imports are mainly for recovery (94 per cent) and our biggest import markets are the Republic of Ireland (46 per cent), Netherlands (11 per cent) and both Norway and Sweden (9 per cent each). Solvents were the primary import representing approximately 30 per cent of all the waste imported; Refuse Derived Fuels is the next biggest representing around 10 percent of the total imports.
A total of 187,000 tonnes of notifiable wastes were exported from England and Wales in 2008; this is a 27 per cent increase on the amount of waste exported in 2007. All exports are for recovery and our biggest export markets are Germany (21 per cent), and Netherlands (19 per cent) and Italy (18 per cent).
Dross and scalings from the manufacture of steel are the primary export representing 19 per cent of all waste exported, wastes with heavy metal contamination (10 per cent), lead acid batteries (9 per cent) and cathode ray tubes (7 per cent) remain significant notifiable waste exports. Ships exported for dismantling is a growing sector representing just under 3 per cent of the total market in 2008.
Exports of non-hazardous wastes to non-OECD countries under notification controls remains a relatively small part of the permitted market. In 2008 we exported 600 tonnes of metal cables and wire to China.
Improving waste information
This year permitted site operators will be able to report site return data via our website. This will make data reporting easier, allowing us to provide the information to users faster. We have been writing to operators about this and any queries should be directed to the National Waste Returns Technical Team:
Legislative changes mean we will now be collecting data from larger industrial processes that use waste. In future this information will help provide a more complete picture of what happens to our waste.
An interrogatable CD will be available, with detailed 2008 data from our operator waste returns for England and Wales, from our Publications Catalogue, at a cost of £100, during November 2009.
A complementary CD containing hazardous waste data will also be available free of charge.
Do you want to find out more?
Detailed information is available on the Data Tables page on the left in excel format.
Information about the data and the assumptions made in the collation and presentation of it can be found on the About the Data page on the left.