UK risks EU recycling fines

January 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm

There has recently been even more bad news announced to bring more misery to those of us feeling the pinch of the credit crunch as the New Year progresses. It looks like council tax rises could be on the horizon in response to possible EU fines imposed upon the UK for failing to meet its recycling targets.

According to a report that was recently released by The National Audit Office, the UK government has simply not done enough to reduce the amount of recyclable waste that manages to find a home in landfill sites across the country, which it had agreed to reduce by a quarter by 2010 and by a half by 2013. There is a lack of recycling facilities available to deal with the waste, despite the protestations from local councils that they want to recycle more and, as such, the UK government is badly failing the general public.

The possible fines will unfortunately be steep – £150 for every tonne of recyclable waste that reaches landfill. This means that the figures will run into the hundreds of millions, and the most likely way that we are going to pay for it is through council tax hikes.

One of the main problems facing the recycling effort is the fall in demand for recyclable materials in Asia, which is where many of the items were until recently sent. This means that more recyclable waste is staying in the country and there are not enough facilities to deal with it. So, not only are we going to have to pay for this mess, but people are surely going to wonder whether to bother to listen to the government in their bid to get us to recycle more if it is just going to end up in a landfill site along with the rest of our rubbish.

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