A new bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament that could see the country adopt a new levy and divorce itself from the UK Landfill Tax.
Finance secretary John Swinney introduced the Landfill Tax (Scotland) Bill which is also designed to tackle illegal waste disposal and bring benefits to community and environmental groups. If passed, it will help combat unauthorised dumping and encourage proper disposal and recycling.
The Bill also introduces a Scottish communities fund that will support environmental organisations and provide assistance to communities living close to landfills.
Swinney said the move will “better reflect Scottish values and Scottish circumstances” and added: “I am eager to use this opportunity to ensure that landfill tax, environmental protection legislation, regulation and compliance regimes are all aligned and working in the best interests of our environment and our economy.
“One opportunity this opens for Scotland would be to increase the amount that is invested in the communities fund to improve surroundings and mitigate against the impact landfill has on communities.
“Landfill Tax is a cornerstone of Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan which encourages the prevention, reuse and recycling of waste and helping keep valuable resources circulating in the Scottish economy.”
James Curran, chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, which would collect the levy, commented: “The Scottish Landfill Tax will encourage waste minimisation and support the development of alternative waste technologies and re-using waste as a resource. It will also help create a level playing field for operators by tackling the problem of illegal waste dumping.
“I am pleased that SEPA will be collecting the tax as it will help improve the efficiency of the collection process in Scotland, further develop our relationship with landfill operators, and ensure that environmental criminals pay their dues, as well as supporting the positive work of environmental bodies throughout Scotland.”
The policy would be a major change to the current UK tax system, which only taxes legal activities.
Image – Scotland’s model will ensure that environmental criminals “pay their dues”.