In less than a decade all available landfill space will be filled. Local Government leaders have issued a dire warning that unless we recycle a whole lot more and throw away a whole lot less we will have a crisis on our hands.
The warning comes as figures reveal that an area of 109 square miles (that’s the size of a large city or a small county), is already taken up by landfill.
Part of the problem is that most brownfield sites have been earmarked for development and green belt land is protected leaving few options for more landfill sites. Also planning permission and local opposition is likely to prevent any further large-scale landfill sites being developed or used.
And do we really want to create any more rubbish tips? It really is time to think of new ways to dispose of waste and/or reduce the amount we produce in the first place.
Local government leaders are also warning that without this radical thinking and planning recycling rates will not rise fast enough to meet landfill legislation and satisfy the targets for tackling climate change.
This in turn will bring added taxes on businesses and households. To minimise or avoid the impact of this retailers and manufacturers need to work together to cut our unnecessary packaging. Customers need to voice their demand for unpackaged goods because a large amount of packaging is provided simply because suppliers believe it will impress their customers- and in most cases it does.
From the 1st April 2007 the landfill tax paid by councils increased to £24 per tonne. This will increase to £32 next year; up 33%. By 2010, Councils, and consequently the taxpayer, are facing fines of up to £150 per tonne of rubbish that is sent to be dumped into landfill sites over a set quota.
According to the National Audit Office, by 2013 fines of up to £200million could hit UK taxpayers for the failure to cut the amount that is thrown in landfills.
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