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Britain Still Throwing Highest Tonnages into Landfills

Britain is still topping Europe in use of landfills.

Britain still sends more household waste to landfill than any other European country, council heads warned today.

Following new figures issued by Defra last week showing that English councils are now averaging a 30% recycling rate for household waste, the Local Government Association published research today showing the UK still filling more landfill space each year than the other 26 EU Member States.

Using the most recent comparable year available – 2005 – it showed the UK as sending 22.6 million tonnes of household waste to landfill.

The next worst countries were Italy, sending 17.6 million tonnes to landfill, Spain sending 14.2 million tonnes and France sends 12 million tonnes of household waste to landfill.

Germany, which has a population even greater than the UK, sent a third of the amount of household to landfill that Britain did.

Since 2005, England has reduced the amount of municipal waste going to landfill to 16.9 million tonnes, and this includes some trade waste as well as household material (see letsrecycle.com story). But the LGA argued that other countries have also been reducing their landfill use in that time, and that Britain is therefore still “at the top of the rubbish heap”.

The LGA, which has not been happy with the amount of money offered to councils by central governement to divert household waste from landfill, warned that “bold reforms” are needed to hit European landfill targets. It is calling for action from householders, shops, businesses and manufacturers to avoid potential £200 million fines for missing the targets.

It also wants to see “save as you throw” incentive schemes promoting household recycling across the country. More…

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