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Increased waste costs may impact on other services

The cost burden of increased spending on waste collection and disposal to meet EU landfill directive targets will impact on other council services, warn council chiefs.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA) report Meeting the Challenges Ahead, published today, spending on the collection and disposal of waste will have to more than double between 2003/04 and 2012/13 to £4.2 billion in order to meet the EU landfill directive.

It added that delays to the implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive had meant that councils, rather than producers, had been footing the bill for WEEE disposal.

LGA chairman Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: There are crucial decisions that have to be made by Ministers within the next few months about how local government services will be funded in the coming decade. This includes paying to care for the elderly, looking after vulnerable children, disposing of our growing waste mountain, improving the environment and making our transport system better.

He highlighted that waste volumes were rising at 3% a year and landfill tax at 15% a year, with local government facing penalties over £200 million if landfill allowances are exceeded.
There will need to be increased spending on rubbish collection and disposal by 10% each year to meet the EU landfill directive, he said.

The LGA says that while local government are willing to consider innovative solutions to manage this increased pressure, it needs to be done alongside a commitment from Government.


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