Only 8 years of landfill space left in the UK

18 Jul

The Local Government Association  (LGA) has warned council officials in the UK that there is only 8 years of landfill space left in the UK.  The UK dumps 19 million tonnes of rubbish into landfill sites every year and that space is quickly running out.  We currently dump more  waste than any other country in the EU – 7 million tonnes more than France!

This is a huge issue, not just for the leaders of our councils but also for us as taxpayers.  On 1 April landfill tax paid by councils rose to £48 per tonne and it is set to rise by £8 per tonne each year until 2014/2015.  That money has to come from somewhere and it’s our pockets that will be affected.

Councils have been trying hard to reduce the amount that is sent to landfill and the amount has reduced by 33% since 2000 but the LGA warn that this is not enough.  We need to increase our efforts to recycle and reuse as much as possible.  At Green Mums we are big fans of Freecycle and always list unwanted items on here instead of sending them to landfill.  It’s worth checking it out as you may be able to pick up something for free yourself.

In Plymouth the council are working really hard to promote cloth nappies in efforts to reduce the amount of disposables that are going to landfill.  If you’d like to know what your council are doing check out our council incentives page. I have noticed larger companies making great efforts in reducing waste.  Sainsburys recently launched their ‘milk in a bag’ which comes with 75% less waste than plastic milk bottles and they actively encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags by offering nectar points for each bag used – thus reducing the amount of carrier bags that are wasted.  More businesses need to put in this kind of effort to reduce our landfill waste and it needs to happen fast!

Can you offer any tips on recycling and reducing waste?  Maybe you have an idea that could be put towards your local council?  Feel free to post them on here and perhaps we can all do our bit to spread awareness.

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2 Responses to “Only 8 years of landfill space left in the UK”

  1. Luschka @ Diary of a First Child August 19, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    You know, perhaps if councils passed that extra cost on to us, we would reduce the landfill? It sucks for those of us who are already meticulous about recycling, but there could be some kind of scheme, you know – bring your recycling in and get a refund or something like that. I’m pretty sure that if they started charging you per bag of unrecylable (is that a word?) rubbish the amount would suddenly drop drastically. And we’d stop buying from companies that sold unrecyclable goods which would put pressure on them to change their practices.

    Only problem is people would probably start dumping illegally then 😦

    In our area the biggest problem is that there is no food recycling, (whereas there was in or previous place) and the biggest amount of ‘rubbish’ that goes out of my first floor flat is food waste.

  2. greenmumsblog August 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    I do think there should be some kind of a ‘penalty fine’ for people who don’t recycle (at least where the council provide the facility to do so!)

    That is difficult to know what to do about the food waste, I must admit I find it really handy having our compost bin for that. Saying that we don’t have a lot of food waste with my husband around!

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