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Firms burning waste to save money, says MP

A Labour politician has accused waste management companies of “setting fire to waste to save money”.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman made the comment during a debate in the House of Commons on 8 September.

He said: “With the landfill tax going up to £85 [£84.40] across West Yorkshire, unscrupulous waste contractors are setting fire to waste to save money.” He called for a debate on the subject.

Leader of the Commons David Lidington said Sheerman would have an opportunity to raise that at a Paliamentary sesion on 13 October when Defra ministers are questioned.

Sheerman is a co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group. MRW has asked his office for clarification on his comment.

Environmental Services Association (ESA) executive director Jacob Hayler said: “Waste crime remains a key priority for ESA. Stamping out unscrupulous behaviour would protect both the environment and the legitimate industry.

”Around two million tonnes of household and commercial waste is estimated to be lost to the illegal sector each year. Applying the duty of care more stringently on waste producers would be an important first step in preventing material from leaking away into the hands of criminals.

”ESA is continuing to work closely with government and the regulators to maintain momentum and stamp out this blight on our sector once and for all.”

According to Sheerman’s office, he was referring to an abandoned site in Huddersfield owned by skip firm Hunter Group.

Local paper The Examiner reported in July that the Environment Agency had launched an investigation into the Queens Mill Road site in Lockwood.

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