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Less hazardous waste sent to landfill

Less hazardous waste is being sent to landfill and more it is being treated and recycled, according to a new report. The Environment Agency (EA) report titled Hazardous Waste Data Update 2006 shows that the quantity of hazardous waste that went to landfill fell by 1.4 million tonnes to 900,000 tonnes down 60% since 2004. Head of external programmes Martin Brocklehurst said: The figures show that more hazardous waste such as chemical wastes, contaminated soils and fridges are being treated and recycled, which is good news for our environment. As new legislation like the Landfill Directive and Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Regulations kick in, were starting to see a shift in how we deal with hazardous waste. We sent 60% less hazardous waste to landfill last year when compared to 2004, which shows business and industry are adapting to the changes. In part this increase can be attributed to changes in the rules on hazardous waste. It meant that more waste was classified as hazardous and so had to be handled differently. Other findings show disparities in regional trends. The only region with a significant increase was the North East, where consignments were up by around 1.5 million tonnes. This by itself could account for all the growth in hazardous waste in England and Wales since 2004, according to the EA. The increase was entirely in waste from the organic chemicals sector consigned for a single waste treatment facility. In contrast, the biggest reductions in the quantities of hazardous waste producedwere in Wales and the Yorkshire & Humber region.

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