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Waste disposal – Beddington Lane

There are many environmental, financial and legislative reasons why waste disposal, and landfill in particular, is the least favourable waste management technique

Approximately 63 per cent of the waste collected by the Partner Boroughs currently ends up in landfill sites.

Any waste that is not placed out for recycling or composting by residents currently gets disposed of by sending to a landfill site at Beddington Lane in Sutton.

At the moment, approximately 63 per cent of the municipal waste collected by the Partner Boroughs ends up at the Beddington Lane landfill site.  That’s about 180,000 tonnes every year.

Investment made by the site’s operator, Viridor, means that Beddington Lane is one of the most technically-advanced landfill sites in the country.  The greenhouse gases that are let off by the waste as it decomposes underground are captured, fed into an on-site power plant which in turn feeds the National Grid.

Once the landfill site at Beddington Lane is full, it will be transformed into an ecological park and a breeding area for rare species of birds.

Whilst this reduces the impact that landfill waste has on the environment, the SLWP must find more sustainable ways of dealing with household waste for the following three reasons:

  1. No matter how much you do to reduce the environmental impact of landfill waste, reducing, reusing, recycling and extracting energy from waste are always going to be more sustainable options for the environment
  2. The site at Beddington Lane is expected to be full by 2020 and suitable locations for new landfill sites are increasingly difficult to find
  3. Government policy has ensured that the cost of sending waste to landfill is rocketing and it will soon be a prohibitively expensive option for councils.

It is for these reasons that the South London Waste Partnership has awarded a major contract (in November 2012) that will see up to 215,000 tonnes of residual waste treated and turned into valuable electricity rather than being buried in landfill.