Case law: Waste disposal firm’s appeal dismissed as judge decides lining material is liable to landfill tax

The case of Biffa Waste Services Ltd v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a tribunal appeal, has been dismissed.

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The appeal followed an earlier appeal by the appellant and three other waste disposal companies, which dealt with the liability for landfill tax on ‘fluff’ – mainly domestic black bag waste that had been deposited at the base, sides and top of landfill cells.

The argument was that this fluff was being used to protect the engineered parts of the landfill cells from damage by the general body of waste deposited in the cell, and was therefore not waste, excluding it from landfill tax.

The appeals were dismissed on the basis that in spite of the submitted ‘use’ of the materials in question, the appellants intended to discard them.

The current appeal concerned a claim relating to a different material deposited at the top of landfill cells operated by the appellant, called EVP or ‘engineered into the void permanently’, similar to the ‘fluff’ referred to in the earlier appeals.

Judge Kevin Poole considered the intent of the person making the disposal to be to discard the material.

He also stated that “all the material was destined for landfill in any event, in the main body of landfilled waste if not as EVP”. This considered, the appeal was dismissed.

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