15 August 2008
The Local Government Association has welcomed the latest municipal waste figures, showing a decrease in landfill and an increase in recycling in England.
The provisional figures for the third quarter of 2007/08, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on August 7, showed that municipal waste had been cut from 29.1 million tonnes to 28.8 million tonnes, while landfill had been reduced from 16.9 million to 15.8 million tonnes.
The average residual household waste per head decreased from 353kg between April 2006 and March 2007 to 334kg per head between January and December 2007. In the same period, household average recycling rates rose from 30.9% to 33.9%.
But Paul Bettison, chair of the LGA's environment board, cautioned: 'While these figures are another step in the right direction, there is still much more to do. Britain dumps more waste into the ground than any other country in the European Union. This is costing the taxpayer dearly in landfill taxes.
'Councils are still facing fines of up to £3bn if we do not dramatically reduce
the amount of waste thrown into landfill. It is vital we look at alternatives to the status quo.'
Environment minister Joan Ruddock said: 'The figures published today are provisional… but show local authorities and their residents are making good progress.'