Government must act on household waste mountain

Limiting the amount of waste that households can throw out for nothing could be good news for council tax-payers and the environment, provided recycling schemes are improved, Friends of the Earth said today.

A number of councils are reported to be exploring ways of preventing people throwing out unlimited quantities of rubbish - and charging those who throw away more. The move is aimed at saving councils money, boosting recycling of precious resources and encouraging people to cut down on waste.

Friends of the Earth's waste campaigner Julian Kirby said: "Rubbish that is chucked out in black bin bags is bad news for the environment and taxpayers, who have to pick up the bill for dealing with it.

"Families across the country are keen to cut down on rubbish and they're frustrated by unnecessary packaging and waste that councils don't recycle.

"As well as discouraging black bin bags, we need the Government to help councils improve their recycling and reuse services and ensure that companies sell us things that are easy to recycle."

"More recycling doesn't mean more hassle and more sorting - the best collection services are the simplest for householders and the most cost-effective for cash-strapped councils."

Friends of the Earth supports moves to boost recycling and cut waste, but any scheme to limit the amount of waste that people can throw away for nothing must take the following into account:
• there must be exemptions - for example for those who create more waste by through large families or medical conditions.
• adequate and convenient recycling facilities must be available so that recycling is as convenient as putting out the waste. This must include food waste.

Friends of the Earth is urging the Government to:
• halve the amount of black bin bag waste that households have to throw out by 2020.
• work with businesses, manufacturers and retailers to cut down the quantity of waste generated in the first place. This should include more durable products that are easier to recycle, re-use or repair.

Source: Friends of the Earth

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