This week sees the gates closing of the UK’s biggest waste mountain, which is deeply reflective of an industry trend that shows the decline in the use of landfill for the disposal of household waste and commercial waste by both local authorities and businesses.
The closing of such a site will present a massive challenge for operator Sita UK in landscaping the 385 acre site, that reaches heights of 260 feet above surrounding ground. It is this mammoth task that is symbolic of an industry pushing recycling, incineration and anaerobic digestion as preferred methods of waste disposal.
This is a sentiment that is deeply felt by Sita UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones, who said that the Packington site’s closure might be just one of many planned by the waste management company. Palmer-Jones’ vision is to have his company operating just three strategic sites dealing with 0.5m tones annually by the end of the decade.
This winding down of landfill sites is a trend that is mirrored in the competing company Viridor, who are planning to close two next month, one of those being the site in Ardley, Oxfordshire where an incinerator has replaced operations and has been developed to be capable of dealing with 300,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Another reason behind the accelerated closure of landfill sites in the UK is the high levels of tax imposed, prompting companies to rethink their strategies for dealing with unwanted rubbish.
One way that this is being done by Sita Uk is their attempts to turn combustible waste from Warwickshire and the West Midlands into an alternative to coal used in the production of cement for Cemex at its Malpass Farm plant.