Waste Management in the Construction Industry


From April 2018 HMRC are able to recover the landfill tax from unauthorised sites, where site won materials (soils and crushed aggregates) have been reused on site without having an exemption in place.  Any disposal at unauthorised sites will be liable to the standard rate and the current landfill tax charges are:

  • Standard rate – £88.95 per tonne (rising to £91.35 in April 2019)
  • Lower rate – £2.80 per tonne   (rising to £2.90 in April 2019)

An exemption can be attained by either applying for a U1 Waste Exemption from the Agency (limited to 1,000 tonnes for soils and 5,000 tonnes for crushed aggregates) or by complying with the CL:AIRE Code of Practice on the Definition of Waste for larger quantities.

Therefore if say there is a stockpile of 1,000 tonnes (~500m3) of site won materials which is then reused as backfill on site without either a MMP or U1 Waste Exemption in place, HMRC can then issue a tax bill of £88,950 to the waste producer.   This charge is at least an order of magnitude greater than the cost for preparing the correct documentation to enable the stockpiled materials to be declassified as waste.

WDE can help you with the preparation of the appropriate documentation to ensure that you or your client are not caught out by the levy of landfill tax on site won materials. 


There is a common misunderstanding within the construction industry that WAC testing is the only waste classification needed prior to offsite disposal of site won materials (soils or crushed aggregate).  There are two requirements prior to determining the appropriate receiving landfill for receiving site won materials as indicated below:

Waste classification

A benefit of undertaking the correct assessment is that it may be possible for non-hazardous materials to be disposed at an inert landfill, which will incur the lower rate of landfill tax and thus save the client money.  For example, a potential cost saving of £86,150 in landfill tax alone is possible for the offsite disposal of 500m3/1,000 tonnes of site won materials which have been demonstrated to be non hazardous but can be disposed at an inert landfill.

Contact WDE should you have a stockpile of site won materials prior to transported offsite to landfill to see if we can save you and your client money.