Naples has descended into chaos with their landfill sites overflowing, rubbish piling up on the streets, residents clashing with police, the government holding emergency meetings and now the army has been called in to deal with the situation. BCC article. Also read the IHT report.
Italy is second worst in the landfill league table for the EU . At the top is the UK.
The UK has increased its average recycling rate to 30% but is still filling more landfill space each year than any other EU country.
Here are the figures;
Tonnes of household rubbish thrown into landfill
War on Waste campaign
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales launches its War on Waste campaign today according to a press release.
Council leaders will warn that an area the size of Warwick, which covers 109 square miles, is already taken up by landfill, and if the current trend continues it is estimated the country will run out of landfill space in less than nine years time.
Over the coming months, the War on Waste campaign will urge that there needs to be a radical overhaul of the amount of rubbish produced and way in which rubbish is thrown away. Local people, businesses, central government and councils all have a vital role to play.
To quote the LGA, Councils, and consequently the taxpayer, are facing fines of up to £150 per tonne of rubbish that is sent to be dumped into landfill sites. According to the National Audit Office, fines of up to £200million could hit taxpayers for the failure to cut the amount that is thrown in landfills.
This stick approach is understandable because of the UK’s position at the top of the landfill league table but it is questionable whether this approach will encourage a positive response and radically reduce landfill waste. A more jointed up, grown up and enabling approach is needed.
Food packaging study
There is however wider work going on to look at why so much waste is being produced with one particular study looking at packaging with the supermarkets. The study (pdf) for the LGA’s War on Waste campaign will look at the amounts of packaging used for food items and note how much of it can be recycled. Most supermarkets will be scrutinized.
”Love Food Hate Waste” campaign
The above named campaign will be the public face for the drive to educate people on waste and will highlight the shocking amount of food that is thrown away.
***We are throwing away a third of the food we buy in the UK.***
There are many reasons why this is happening. It is not as common anymore for people to use leftovers to create another meal for example. See more at the LOVE FOOD hate waste website.