Estimating cost and carbon savings

This section outlines processes that local authorities can use to estimate cost and carbon savings that successful waste prevention activities can bring.

Key points

  • As a minimum, calculate the landfill tax savings from your proposed waste prevention activities
  • Use of local data will give you a better estimate.
  • Estimating greenhouse gas savings from tonnage diversion is complex. Tools are available to assist you.

Cost savings from individual activities

To calculate the actual savings you will need to take account of the cost to carry out the activity as well.  In the table below we have only used the landfill tax amount.

Your own local authority may have an agreed internal calculation factor of waste cost per tonne you can use which takes into account more factors such as collection and waste processing costs.


Tonnes per year

Avoided costs @ £80 per tonne

Furniture re-use



Love Food Hate Waste (in-depth one-to-one engagement)



Love Food Hate Waste (campaign without one-to-one engagement)



Real nappies



Action against unwanted mail




1,346-2,260 (1-2% of total hh waste)


Potential greenhouse gas prevention

Estimating the reduction in greenhouse gases (commonly referred to as ‘carbon’) associated with waste prevention is not straightforward due to the complexity and variation for each different location, type of waste and treatment of that waste. 

Factors to consider are:

  • embodied carbon in the waste material avoided
  • carbon potential if the material is placed in landfilll
  • collection and transportation of waste

The hub's Tools and Resources section provides a list of tools as a good starting point.