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Call for landfill tax to be returned to councils

April 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm

As of April 1st, the cost to councils of sending waste to landfill sites is to increase by £8 a tonne, raising the figure from £32 to £40. Calls are now being made both by the LGA (Local Government Association) and Friends of the Earth for the taxes to be paid back to councils in order for them to improve their recycling infrastructure.

The tax is likely to amount to £620 million in the financial year 2009/10, equivalent to around £30 per household. The chair of the LGA’s environment board has said that landfill tax is “quite literally costing councils the earth” and he is concerned that the costs will be passed on to the householder, by an increase of £70 in council tax.

He has said that it is incumbent upon the government to show in a “clear and transparent way” just how councils are reaping the benefit from the landfill tax paid. He feels that taking punitive measures against councils and householders who do not recycle sufficiently is not likely to improve recycling rates. Instead he would like to see landfill taxes being made available for councils to make recycling schemes even easier for householders to adopt.

Friends of the Earth have backed the LGA’s remarks and have said that they would also like to see a tax being imposed on councils who incinerate.

Council leaders are being urged to participate in the Landfill Tax campaign by writing to the appropriate minister outlining the effect on their council’s budget and services. For further details see the LGA website.

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