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Title: Landfill reduction experience in The Netherlands

Highlights: • ‘Zero waste’ initiatives never consider risks, side effects or experience of achieved low levels of landfill. • This paper provides insight into what works and what not. • Where strong gradients in regulations and tax occur between countries, waste will find its way to landfills across borders. • Strong landfill reduction can create a fierce competition over the remaining waste to be landfilled resulting in losses. • At some point a public organisation should take responsibility for the operation of a ‘safety net’ in waste management. - Abstract: Modern waste legislation aims at resource efficiency and landfill reduction. This paper analyses more than 20 years of landfill reduction in the Netherlands. The combination of landfill regulations, landfill tax and landfill bans resulted in the desired landfill reduction, but also had negative effects. A fierce competition developed over the remaining waste to be landfilled. In 2013 the Dutch landfill industry generated €40 million of annual revenue, had €58 million annual costs and therefore incurred an annual loss of €18 million. It is not an attractive option to prematurely end business. There is a risk that Dutch landfill operators will not be able to fulfil the financial obligations for closuremore » and aftercare. Contrary to the polluter pays principle the burden may end up with society. EU regulations prohibiting export of waste for disposal are in place. Strong differentials in landfill tax rate between nations have nevertheless resulted in transboundary shipment of waste and in non-compliance with the self-sufficiency and proximity principles. During the transformation from a disposal society to a recycling society, it is important to carefully plan required capacity and to guide the reorganisation of the landfill sector. At some point, it is no longer profitable to provide landfill services. It may be necessary for public organisations or the state to take responsibility for the continued operation of a ‘safety net’ in waste management. Regulations have created a financial incentive to pass on the burden of monitoring and controlling the impact of waste to future generations. To prevent this, it is necessary to revise regulations on aftercare and create incentives to actively stabilise landfills.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22436823
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 34; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; COST; FINANCIAL INCENTIVES; HAZARDS; LEGAL ASPECTS; NETHERLANDS; POLLUTION REGULATIONS; SANITARY LANDFILLS; SIDE EFFECTS; WASTES