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Flood-damaged goods in landfill

30,000 tonnes of household goods dumped in landfill sites following floods
Flood damaged goods in landfill Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

Almost 30,000 tonnes of water-damaged household goods have had to be dumped in landfill sites after the winter floods, new research reveals.

According to snapshot analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA), local authorities have so far been landed with an estimated bill of more than £2.25 million in landfill tax as a result.

’Contaminated’ goods

Any items affected by flood water following the devastation wreaked by storms Desmond and Frank can’t be recycled as they’re classed as ‘contaminated’ and have to be taken to landfill.

The LGA is calling for all landfill tax, which is calculated at just over £82 per tonne, to be returned to local taxpayers to be invested back in to projects that will support local jobs and growth, rather than go to the Treasury.

The call comes as communities are still battling to recover from the severe storms they have suffered over the Christmas period. The LGA also hopes the government will be applying for EU solidarity funding to help those communities who have been affected.

Assessing the impact

Councils have visited flood-hit areas to collect and dispose of household items such as carpets and furniture. On average, the LGA estimates that 1.66 tonnes of household goods and freezer waste has had to be removed so far from each of the 16,500 homes and businesses that have been flooded.

Local authorities are still assessing the total impact of the devastation – particularly the repair bill for roads and bridges, which is estimated to run into hundreds of millions of pounds. The LGA said there is no doubt councils will need more financial support from government over the coming months.

‘Councils have been pulling out all the stops to help businesses and households that have been ravaged by the floods. This has included taking about 30,000 tonnes of flood damaged household goods, like furniture and freezer waste, to landfill sites. As these items are ‘contaminated’ with floodwater, councils cannot recycle them and they have to be taken to landfill sites – which is costing millions.

‘We are calling on government to allow councils to keep all of this landfill tax. This money could make a major difference in helping councils to continue their sterling work with the massive clear-up and returning households and businesses to normality.’

Cllr Peter Box, LGA Environment spokesman

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