Councils will need to find out more about the cost implications of introducing landfill restrictions or bans on nine waste streams.
Local Government Association (LGA) policy adviser Clive Harris that said although the idea of diverting waste from landfill was good, he asked who would have to pay for the waste infrastructure to process the extra waste being diverted from landfill. He said the LGA would need more talks with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to get a greater understanding on what the impact of landfill bans will be on councils.
His comments come after the publication of a consultation by Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government called Consultation on the Introduction of Restrictions on the Landfilling of Certain Wastes (18 March) . It outlines the prospect of introducing landfill restrictions or bans on nine waste streams including paper and card, textiles, metals, wood, food, glass and plastics in the UK (see MRW story).
LGA chairman Gary Porter said: People have already done an excellent job in cutting the amount of rubbish we throw in the ground. Working with their council, people have doubled recycling rates in the past five years. As a nation, we need to recycle even more but councils are already working with residents to find ways of doing this, and seven out of ten people are happy with their recycling collection.
While the landfill tax is taking ever more of council taxpayers money, they cannot be expected to pick up the bill for new technology to sort through millions of tonnes of rubbish. Defra should not put councils in a position where they have to issue residents with more bins or fine people for putting leftovers in the wrong place.