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Mayor takes concerns about London's waste to EC

The Mayor of London has expressed fears that the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) is being abused by some London local authorities.

Ken Livingstone is so concerned about the matter that he is sending his waste advisor to meet with senior officials at the European Commission.

The Mayor maintains that municipal waste is continuing to be sent to landfill sites in
London through the private commercial waste sector.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) municipal   waste management statistics show an apparent drop in landfill from 2.8 million tonnes to 2.7 million tonnes in the first year of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS).

According to Livingstone, the total amount of waste (municipal and commercial) landfilled at sites around
London seems to have actually risen by 1.5 million tonnes since 2003/04.

He said: The Governments claims that London is ahead of the national average on reducing the amount of municipal waste we dump in landfill sites, has been given as a major reason for not agreeing to the establishment of a Single Waste Disposal Authority to co-ordinate Londons waste.

It is now clear that the figures being used by the Government are incorrect.

A large amount of the reduction in municipal waste has been achieved by
London local authorities either selling off their trade waste portfolios or pricing themselves out of their commercial sector to avoid landfill tax fines.

The Mayor claims that this has resulted in the private sector collecting the same waste and landfilling it in the South-East because they are not liable to fines.

The environment advisor for the Mayor will be meeting with the environment infringement unit of the European Commission to discuss the issue.

Livingstone views the Single Waste Disposal Authority as the key to tackle climate change.

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