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Landfill bans could save £2.5bn a year

March 28, 2013

Landfill bans could save £2.5bn a year

Banning food, textiles, wood and plastic from landfill could save resources worth £2.5bn a year and help companies avoid £1bn of landfill costs, according to Green Alliance. New research by the group shows that policies preventing cars and electronics being dumped in landfill have improved recycling rates significantly and advocates extending these regulations.

The UK recovered around a quarter of unwanted mobile phones in 2010 and that this figure is set to rise to 80 percent by the end of the decade, keeping £13m of value in the UK economy per year, as a result of the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive. By contrast, in the US where no such regulations exist, 92 percent of mobile phones ended up in landfill.

Dustin Benton, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, said without bans, landfill is still “the default option”, but now it makes economic sense to retain valuable materials. Introducing bans over a five to ten year timeframe would give industry sufficient time to respond and stimulate better infrastructure and would work better than extending landfill taxes, which are based on weight rather than the type of material.

Read more at Business Green.

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