The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has warned of the consequences of proposed changes to the Landfill Communities Fund, announced by the Chancellor in his Spending Review and Autumn Statement.
The body has said a previously unforeseen, and potentially damaging, proposal to remove landfill operators' ability to use third party contributors to make up the 10% shortfall in landfill tax payments to community projects under the scheme, will land the industry an annual £4m bill.
ESA executive director Jacob Hayler said: “The Landfill Communities Fund has supported over 50,000 community and environmental projects across the UK, with funds totalling £1.2bn.
“The government's proposed change is likely to jeopardise the future of the scheme, thereby removing this vital funding source for local projects.
“A mere four months' notice provides landfill operators with little time to budget, particularly when their planning timescales tend to be around five years in advance, and when some individual operators are facing unforeseen annual costs of over £500,000.”