Posted on: 3rd Oct 2019
Andusia Discuss the Impending Dutch Tax
In July, the Dutch Government proposed a €32-per-tonne tax on the import of waste into the country as part of a package of measures to address climate change. Domestic waste sent to energy from waste (EfW) plants and landfills have been taxed in the Netherlands since 2015.
Currently, the Netherlands is the largest off-taker of UK waste in mainland Europe and took in a total of 1.3 million tonnes of material from the UK in 2018 alone. The Dutch Government estimates that as much as 25% of the waste processed in the country’s EfW plants comes from outside the country.
Despite lobbying from UK exporters and Dutch plants, it is predicted Dutch ministers will press ahead and introduce the tax in January 2020.
The change is expected to increase the cost of waste disposal for those in the waste industry that use incineration plants in the Netherlands. This will likely have a knock on effect, pushing up landfill prices and possibly leaving Dutch facilities struggling to fulfil capacity.
Andusia take a closer look at the possible outcomes of the impending tax on the UK waste industry:
- The Dutch EfW plants simply take on the tax themselves. This would be ‘business as usual’ from a UK perspective.
- The tax is passed onto UK RDF exporters. Effectively increasing the RDF price beyond the price of landfill in the UK, resulting in a stop to waste export to the Netherlands. Consequently, UK landfill will have an additional 1.3m tonnes to deal with. Although there is landfill capacity, the availability of walking floors and even getting the additional trucks ‘though the door’ will be a challenging task. Due to simple supply and demand, landfill prices will increase (in turn making RDF export to the Netherlands competitive once again?).
- The tax will be split between the RDF waste producers and the EfW plants. Whether the split is even or the EfW plants take on the lion’s share, the cost of waste disposal will inevitably increase across the board.
Waste producers need to be prepared to bear some of the burden of a tax increase. Weighing up the options, it isn’t as simple as sending waste to landfill, inevitably landfill prices will only increase in line with demand.
Following on from the Dutch tax, Sweden also plans to implement a tax of €8-per-tonne from April 2020, with a €2-per-tonne increase every year thereafter.
Andusia Director, Mark Terrell commented “The Dutch Government are not looking at the bigger picture. Trying to address climate change on a local level, will only compromise wider attempts to reduce carbon emissions for Europe as a whole.”
“The price increase in waste disposal needs to be taken on by someone and it will likely need to be shared between the producer and the plant. In the long run, landfill is not a viable option, and landfill prices will only increase with demand” ended Mark.