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United Kingdom

Waste management United Kingdom

Vulnerabilities waste management

Likely impacts of climate change on solid waste management include more rapid degradation and odours, and problems in the management of landfill sites, including potential leaching of pollutants leading to water quality problems (1). There are health issues arising from the leaching of wastes from older landfill sites due to a rising water table and from intense rainfall (2).

The potential flooding of sewer networks also presents a health risk (3). Re-engineering of sewer outfalls as a consequence of rising sea levels may be needed. Land-access in the winter may be difficult for disposal of sewage sludges on agricultural terrain.

Climate change is identified as a key driver affecting Britain’s future sewer systems. According to one model study, the volume of sewage released to the environment by combined sewage overflow spills and flooding is projected to increase by 40 per cent (4).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for the United Kingdom.

  1. West and Gawith (2005)
  2. Kersey et al. (2000)
  3. C-CLIF and GEMRU (2003)
  4. Tait et al. (2008), in: IPCC (2014)

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