Nick Herbert welcomes Boris' statement on waste

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the statement from Mayor Boris Johnson that London should not be dumping waste in landfill sites outside the capital.

In a report published on 30 July called ‘Leading to a greener London', Mr Johnson unveiled new plans to boost recycling in the city and build 20 to 30 ‘next generation' waste plants by 2020.

The report states: ‘We should manage as much of London's waste as practicable within London and aspire that zero waste goes to landfill outside London.  It is especially important that we stop the practice of dumping unsorted rubbish in landfill sites outside the capital.'

Mr Herbert has said that the renewed emphasis on ending the disposal of waste in landfill sites outside London would be welcomed by residents of West Sussex who have been told that they will have to accept nearly 2 million tonnes of rubbish from the capital over the next 15 years.

But the MP warned that there may be "no immediate change" to the pressure on West Sussex to find landfill sites.  The Greater London Authority has recognised that changes to waste policy cannot be made overnight.

Nick Herbert has recently called for an end to landfill and set out an ambition for England to achieve 'zero waste' by increasing recycling rates and using waste as a resource for energy and materials.

The MP has been critical of the failure over the past decade to increase recycling rates further, particularly in London.  He recently said that the export of London's waste to landfill in counties like West Sussex was "totally unacceptable".

Boris Johnson has said that the reduction of waste going to landfill should be a "top priority" for his administration.

At present, only 21 per cent of London's municipal waste is recycled, compared with 38 per cent in West Sussex.  The Mayor has said that he wants rubbish to be viewed as a resource, with more emphasis on reusing and recycling waste, and intends to set out his detailed plans in a revised London Waste Management Strategy.

Nick Herbert commented: "Boris' statement will be welcomed by communities in West Sussex who face the awful spectre of landfill as London prepares to dump nearly 2 million tonnes of rubbish in our county.  The capital city must deal with its waste in a responsible way. 

"However, while I congratulate Boris for addressing this issue, my worry is that, after ten years in which London has failed to improve recycling rates sufficiently, the Mayor's plan might come too late to enable West Sussex County Council to reject proposals for a landfill site at Laybrook.

"Nevertheless, I will continue to do everything I can to support the local community against landfill."

Mr Herbert has urged local residents to write to West Sussex County Council to lodge their objections to plans submitted by Cory Environmental to dump 4.7 million tonnes of rubbish at Laybrook Brickworks.  The consultation ends on 18 September.

The MP will this week attend meetings at the Methodist Church Hall in Ashington and the Village Hall in Thakeham to hear local concerns about the plans.

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Notes for Editors

1. For a copy of ‘Leading to a greener London: an environment programme for the capital', published on 30 July 2009 by the Greater London Authority, visit http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/publications/2009/docs/leading-greener-london-300709.pdf.

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

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

4. To make your views known on the planning application for a landfill site at Laybrook Brickworks, write to: Planning Services, West Sussex County Council, The Grange, Tower Street, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1RH or e-mail planning.services@westsussex.gov.uk (please quote planning application reference number WSCC/048/09/T). You can also submit comments on the County Council's website at http://eplanning.westsussex.gov.uk/ePlanningOPS/loadFullDetails.do?aplId=1058.

Ed Barker