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Deben declares support for waste separation camp

John Major’s environment secretary Lord Deben has waded into the debate surrounding waste collection methods, and raised concerns about the number of climate change sceptics in Whitehall.  

Exclusive MRW strap

Deben, who remains influential in Parliament and the waste industry, told MRW that commingled collections were “out of kilter with what other countries” were doing.

He said: “We should have separate collections. That’s not an ideal world - it’s the world that most other civilised countries live in.

“This is what makes me cross.

“Even in the US you have a lot more differentiated bins than we do. In Germany, everybody expects to make the division.”

Separating waste was sensible, fostered “decent citizenship” and would help people to develop more responsible attitudes to other problems such as littering, he added.   

In a wide-ranging conversation with MRW ahead of the ministerial reshuffle, Deben also raised concerns about the number of climate chance sceptics in Whitehall, especially in the Treasury. It is a charge new environment secretary Owen Paterson stands accused of by green groups.

“It’s not surprising that former Treasury people like Lord Turnbull reveal [after they leave government] that they do not believe in climate change, they do not think it’s happening,” he said.

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