Reasons to not send inert waste to landfill | Commercial Recycling News

4 reasons why you shouldn’t send your inert waste to a landfill

Inert waste doesn’t pose a threat to the environment, animals or human health when disposed of, however, this doesn’t mean that it should be sent to landfill.

Despite the fact that inert waste is unreactive (biologically and chemically), there are still several negative environmental and economic consequences of tipping it at landfills.

So why shouldn’t you send it to these sites, and where should you dispose of it?

What is inert waste?

Before digging into where you should and shouldn’t be disposing of inert waste, we should clarify what we refer to when we use the term.

Inert waste is waste materials that do not readily undergo physical, chemical, or biological changes and do not pose an immediate threat to the environment or human health.

These materials are typically found at construction sites and include:

  • Concrete
  • Rubble
  • Sands
  • Clay
  • Soil
  • Chalk

Why shouldn’t these materials go to landfill?

Even though they aren’t harmful materials, as mentioned above, there are many reasons why you should dispose of inert waste at alternative places to landfills.

Limited landfill space

As inert waste takes an extremely long time to decompose or doesn’t decompose at all, it takes up a fair bit of space on any landfill site. This causes a problem, as a landfill has a finite amount of space that it can use.

With landfill space becoming scarcer, it should really be used for waste that can’t be reused or recycled.

Resource conservation

Inert waste, especially construction and demolition debris, often contains valuable resources that can be recycled or repurposed. By sending these materials to landfills, we miss out on the opportunity to recover valuable resources and reduce the demand for new raw materials.

You can also often use inert waste in land transformation projects, such as creating slurry lagoons, or acoustic and visual bunds. This will mean that projects won’t need to use primary resources, saving them for where they are needed.

Generation of greenhouse gases

While these materials don’t break down easily, processes such as the decomposition of organic matter can generate greenhouse gases (such as methane). Gases such as this contribute to climate change, so reusing the materials and reducing the amount sent to landfills, can mitigate the amount of greenhouse gasses going into our environment.

Leachate and contamination

Leachate is a liquid that forms as water interacts with waste in a landfill. If inert waste is sat on a landfill site, it will contribute to the production of the liquid. 

Leachate can contain pollutants that might eventually contaminate soil and groundwater, affecting nearby ecosystems and potentially posing a threat to human health.

Disposing of inert wastes through alternative methods will reduce the amount of leachate being produced, which in turn can help keep local ecosystems healthier.

Alternative disposal methods

Given these reasons, it’s generally better to divert inert waste from landfills and explore alternative methods such as recycling, reusing, or repurposing these materials.

Recycling facilities:

Many components of inert waste, such as concrete, bricks, and asphalt, can be recycled. Crushing and processing these materials can produce recycled aggregates that can be used in construction projects as a replacement for virgin aggregates. Recycling inert waste reduces the demand for new raw materials and conserves resources.

Commercial Recycling produces recycled aggregates at our Canford Inert Facility. We accept all size loads of inert material at the facility where it then goes through a process of cleaning and screening to make a variety of recycled aggregates which we then sell.

Erosion Control

Crushed inert waste can be used for erosion control in various applications, such as stabilizing slopes, preventing soil erosion, and protecting embankments.

Construction and infrastructure projects

Recycled inert waste materials can be used in various construction and infrastructure projects. Crushed concrete can be used as a base or sub-base material for roads and pavements, while recycled bricks and aggregates can be used in new construction projects.

Land reclamation

Inert waste can be used in land reclamation projects, such as filling in quarries or abandoned sites. Properly managed, inert waste can help restore land and create usable spaces.

Inert waste can also be used to build up the land in land transformation projects. This could include helping to improve the physical contours or properties of a site to make it more usable by regrading, raising levels, replacing and improving soils.

We often help local farmers and landowners with land transformation projects. If you would like to learn more about this, give our expert team a call on 01202 579579.

How can we help?

Commercial Recycling has 2 inert facilities where you can tip your inert waste for reuse or recycling.

Our Canford Inert Facility near Wimborne accepts all inert waste which is then cleaned and screened to become a recycled aggregate. These materials are sold to be used as sub-bases for projects at home or for a business.

We recently opened another inert facility near Salisbury at High Post Golf Club.

High Post Golf Club is open to accepting all inert wastes, which will be used in a land transformation project to landscape a driving range.

To learn more about our inert facilities, call us on 01202 579579, or email

If you have specific questions about the inert tip we are running at High Post Golf Club, please email Shaun at

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