Whitemoss Landfill

Whitemoss is an important part of the UK’s hazardous waste management infrastructure.

Located less than 500 metres from junction 4 of the M58 motorway Whitemoss has, for more than twenty five years, been an important facility for disposal of residues from recycling activities and the remediation of contaminated land.

Where hazardous wastes cannot be recycled then those residual wastes need to be disposed of in accordance with best engineering practice to mitigate their environmental impact.

Any wastes received at the site must be pre-treated and meet stringent waste acceptance criteria before they can be accepted. The majority of wastes that we accept are contaminated soils allowing remediation of brownfield sites, residues from recycling such as filter cakes and ash from burning of wood and paper in biomass plants.

Veolia plc acquired Whitemoss Landfill in January 2019. Veolia is the UK’s leading resource management company which provides, among others, a wide range of specialist hazardous waste collection, advanced treatment, recycling and recovery services.

Development Consent Order

Because of the important role that large hazardous waste landfill sites fulfill in the management of wastes in the UK the Government considers them to be Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). When the Planning Act 2008 was introduced NSIPs were taken out of the normal planning system and became subject to Development Consent Orders (DCO).

The DCO process involved extensive consultation with statutory and other consultees and the appointment of Inspectors to hold an Examination in Public which is similar to a Public Enquiry.

In May 2015 the Secretary of State granted development consent via the White Moss Landfill Order 2015 for the construction of a new landfill void at Whitemoss which will provide capacity until 2035.

Environmental Permit

Hazardous waste landfill sites must hold an Environmental Permit  to operate. This is issued by the Environment Agency and details how the site is to be constructed, operated and managed. Whitemoss Landfill Limited had a permit for the existing site so for the extension we required a variation not a new application.

In September 2016 the Environment Agency issued revised Environmental Permit EPR/DP3639LM/V005 for the new landfill area.

In May 2018 the permit was transferred to Whitemoss Landfill Holdings Limited and given a new permit number EPR/DP3034YR.

In December 2019 a permit variation, DP3034YR V004  was issued  to include all permitted EWC codes.


The Environmental Permit requires extensive monitoring of the landfill site including boundary site impacts such as odour, dust and noise.

During 2019 there were six odour complaints. All the complaints were investigated and none were substantiated.

There have been no substantiated odour issues relating to the landfill site since 2006. There are, however, separate odour issues relating to the local industrial and agricultural areas which we have no control over. These commonly relate to waste spreading on local fields to improve agricultural yields.

Whitemoss regularly monitors any potential dust from the site and have strict benchmarks set by the Environment Agency which we must adhere to. The main source of dust detected tends to come from the adjacent M58 motorway, but even with that additional source levels are well below standards set by the Environment Agency.

Developments at Whitemoss

The construction of the landfill cells involves the excavation of clay and shale which are used for engineering or general fill purposes both on and off site.  As the minerals are excavated they are stored in stockpiles around the site.

Technical information about the clay used for lining the cells is available here. The clay is the brown mineral and  the shale the grey rock that can be seen in this photograph:

During 2017 we completed construction of the first part of the extension, Cell Ai. The original landfill cells are still operational and working to new restoration contours granted by the Development Consent Order.

The design of the landfill is agreed with the Environment Agency and construction is monitored by independent engineers. Each element of the lining system is subject to third party testing and verification which are included in a Construction Quality Assurance Report which are approved by the Environment Agency. Those reports detail how the landfill cell has been constructed and validated.

During 2018 we completed the construction of Phase Aii which is adjacent to Phase Ai. It is now operational and the CQA Report was approved by the Environment Agency.

During 2019, in addition to the usual site activities, we removed stockpiles of shale and clay from the site for the local manufacture of bricks and use in construction projects.  We also continued capping and restoration works on older parts of the site and preparation works for the construction of the next landfill cell.

Whitemoss Landfill Community Liaison Committee

Meetings of the Whitemoss Landfill Community Liaison Committee are held annually.  The main purpose of the committee is to provide a forum for the discussion of issues between the local community, Whitemoss Landfill Limited and site regulators. We also report and update the committee on the activities on site during the year and planned works in the following year.  The committee includes representatives of site regulators, local Councillors, Council for the Protection of Rural England and Whitemoss Landfill. Minutes of the latest meeting are available in the documents section of this website.

Landfill Tax

Landfill tax rates from 1st April 2019 are £91.35 per tonne for standard rated wastes and £2.90 per tonne for lower rated wastes.

The rates from 1st April 2020 will be £94.15 per tonne for standard rated wastes and £3.00 per tonne for lower rated wastes.

The Whitemoss Community Fund

2019 was the most exciting yet for the Whitemoss Community Fund with increased funding available for the local community resulting in a ‘new look’ Fund.

Previously the Fund distributed a pot of c.£65,000 in one annual round. The Fund size has now doubled, and local groups are able to apply for funding support twice each year with grants of up to £25,000 available for projects located anywhere within a 5-mile radius of the Whitemoss landfill site in Skelmersdale.

In 2019 eight local groups shared a total of £133,267 seeing the amount now distributed through the Whitemoss Community Fund in the local area rise to over £660,000.

The projects that  were supported are:

Skelmersdale Cricket Club who were able to purchase a digital scoreboard thanks to a grant of £7,500.

Ormskirk and District Scouts who used their £20,000 grant to create an outdoor community learning space at their site near Lathom.

Westhead Village Hall who used a grant of £17,500 to enable  them to continue their programme of improvements which began when the community saved the Hall from closure in 2017.

Up Holland Methodist Church used £16,718 to improve their car park and access, alongside improving toilet provision within the building.

Greenhill Community Hub also benefited from a grant award of £19,659 which enables an upgrade to the heating system as well as provision of new specialist equipment.

Evermoor Lounge in Skelmersdale will be able to complete essential roof repairs, replace flooring and purchase new furniture now they have a grant of £20,000 from the Fund.

The Ecumenical Centre’s garden area in Skelmersdale will be transformed with an award of £16,190.

40th Ormskirk Scouts also received £15,700 to enable them to complete their outdoor area improvement project.

Funding for the Whitemoss Community Fund is provided from the Whitemoss landfill site in Skelmersdale through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Veolia, the UK’s leading resource management company acquired Whitemoss Landfill in January 2019. Veolia provides a wide range of recycling and waste management services across the UK.

Mark Langabeer, General Manager, Landfill said: “Veolia look forward to continuing the great work that has been achieved through the Whitemoss Community Fund, and we hope the changes to the Fund will encourage even more worthy applications.”

The Fund has awarded grants to local communities around the site each year since 2010. So far 51 local projects have benefited from the Fund.

The application deadline was 11th December 2019. Decisions on successful applications will be announced in February 2020. A new application deadline will be confirmed in the Spring but is likely to be in June 2020.

Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 are available for community projects in the funding area.

Click below to find out how to apply for a community project grant or call 01908 247630 for more details.