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University of Birmingham report: living near landfill sites reduces price of your house

Living near a landfill site could negatively affect the price of your property Photo: PA

Home-owners living next to old landfill sites could see the price of their houses affected for decades, a new report from the University of Birmingham suggests.

Researchers who studied the prices of homes near active landfill sites say it reduces the value of a property by 2.6%, against average market value.

The study looked at sites across Birmingham.

The report also found that even where landfill sites are no longer active, house prices are between 2.4% and 3.4% lower.

It concludes the "stigma appears to endure over periods in excess of 20 years".

The house price differential is a measure of the negative impact landfills have on the local community. That is, nuisances such as noise, smell, wind-blown litter, the additional traffic as well as flies and vermin.

What is interesting, however, is that the impact of landfill sites on house prices appears to endure over periods in excess of 20 years after closure.

– Professor David Maddison, co-authored the report 'The Valuation of Landfill Disamenity in Birmingham'

Prof Maddison acknowledged the amount of waste now going to landfill was falling, but suggested more needed to be done to tax its use and accelerate the up-take of alternatives for disposing of waste.

The latest available government data showed councils had recycled more waste than went to landfill for the first time since records began, according to the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said 60% of the 500,000 tonnes of household and business waste collected annually was now incinerated at an energy-from-waste power plant.

The city currently recycles 31% of household waste.