Waste, August 2009

This week I attended public meetings at Ashington and Thakeham to hear more about plans for a new landfill site at Laybrook Brickworks.

I am deeply concerned about the recent planning application submitted by Cory Environmental who want to dump 4.7 million tonnes of rubbish at Laybrook over the next two decades.

As residents in Small Dole know only too well, the smell, litter and noise from living next to a tip is awful.

Local people are bound to be concerned about the impact of 200 lorry movements to and from Laybrook every day - one every three minutes.

Putting rotting rubbish into holes in the ground is the most environmentally damaging way to deal with it.  EU policy says that it should be the last resort.

Cory's claim that the waste is residual and "cannot be recycled or reused" is nonsense.  Other countries have far higher recycling rates than ours and they also use their waste to generate energy.

Less than 2 per cent of waste in the Netherlands is landfilled.  Yet under existing Government plans, Britain will still be landfilling a quarter of our waste in ten years' time.

We must do better than this.  As I said in a speech last month, waste should be regarded as a resource for energy and materials.  Denmark uses more than twice as much waste to generate electricity than we do.

Boris Johnson is trying to improve London's lamentable record on recycling, but in the meantime West Sussex is being forced to accept 2 million tonnes of the capital's waste.  This is totally unacceptable.

There is still time to object to Cory's proposals - the consultation runs until Friday 18 September.  Details of how to submit comments are on my website.

West Sussex County Council have to decide whether or not to approve the application according to the law.  Their discretion is limited.  But I will do everything I possibly can to fight these proposals.

Michelle Taylor