Nick Herbert calls for the end of landfill

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has challenged the Government to show greater ambition and end the landfilling of waste.

Speaking in the House of Commons today (4 February), the Shadow Environment Secretary highlighted the UK's poor performance when it comes to waste disposal in comparison to other EU countries, and criticised the current approach of just burying the problem in the ground.

Britain's recycling rates are still far lower than the best performing EU nations.  Whereas the UK recycles or composts only a third of its municipal waste, Austria manages nearly 60 per cent.

And under current Government plans, England will still be sending a quarter of its household waste to landfill sites in ten years' time.

Mr Herbert said: "Under the Government's proposals one in every four tonnes of household waste will still be landfilled in ten years' time - the most environmentally damaging form of disposal.  Britain lags behind greener countries like Germany and the National Audit Office has criticised the Government for dragging its feet on recycling infrastructure.

"Isn't it time to show leadership and commit to zero waste and ending landfill of rotting rubbish altogether?"

Government Minister Dan Norris responded: "I cannot disagree with the honourable Gentleman, and I hope that he will take part in our consultation.  It is an important consultation that seeks to achieve the objectives that he has just outlined, so I hope that he will play a full part in it."

Last week Mr Herbert presented a petition signed by 5,000 people calling on West Sussex County Council to reject a planning application submitted by Cory Environmental to dump 4.1 million tonnes of rubbish at Laybrook Brickworks near Thakeham.

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Notes for Editors

1. For a transcript of today's Commons debate on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visit http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmtoday/cmdebate/01.htm#hddr_12.

2. For the website of Thakeham Village Action (TVA), who are campaigning against the proposed landfill site at Laybrook Brickworks, visit http://www.thakehamvillageaction.org.uk/.

3. For details of TVA's campaign, visit http://www.nolaybrooklandfill.co.uk/.

4. For the website of the Small Dole Action Group, visit http://www.smalldole.com/.

Ed Barker