LOCAL AUTHORITIES this week expressed confusion over how to take part in a new landfi l capacity trading scheme launched last Friday.
The scheme is intended to help councils meet targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) going to landfill.
But many councils said they were still in the dark about how the scheme will work.
The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) will allow English councils exceeding their targets for sending waste to landfill to buy spare capacity from other councils, rather than pay fines of £150 per tonne.
The targets have been set in line with the European Landfill Directive, which aims to reduce landfi ll to 75% of 1995 levels by 2010.
'Nobody really knows how much these allowances are worth. They could be worth the same as diverting [the waste from landfi ling], worth nothing or the equivalent of £150/t, ' said Southwark council project manager Will Gardiner.
He added that local authorities were 'not used to trading or risking tax payers' money'.
Other councils, including East Riding and Bedfordshire, said that they doubted whether there would be any spare landfi l allowance to buy as most local authorities would bank their capacity for their own use in future years.