Policy Exchange

A wasted opportunity: Getting the most out of Britain`s bins

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A new report out from think tank Policy Exchange today recommends the radical overhaul of the waste system to reduce the cost to Britain's households, improve recycling rates, increase local authority efficiency and expand the proportion of the UK's energy needs met through waste.

The UK still sends more than half its waste to landfill, and 15.5 million tonnes of household rubbish were buried and left to rot in 2007/8. The UK also fares badly in comparison with its European counterparts -not only countries where an excellent performance might be expected, like Sweden and Germany, but also falls behind other countries such as France and Italy.

Editor of the report and Head of Policy Exchange's Energy & Environment Unit Ben Caldecott said:

'The simple truth is that if we don't make the way we recycle radically more efficient, as well as reallly cutting back on what we put into landfill, the cost for waste charges are going to keep going up - hitting people when their council tax bill lands on the doormat. If we reform the system, we can get more out of our bins whilst cutting household waste bills by up to 50% and reducing the hassle people experience from having too many bins and overly complicated collections.

'The Government's 'pay as you throw schemes' and alternate weekly collections haven't improved Britain's waste system, and the attempt to impose them has created a public backlash as they are perceived as stealth bin taxes.'

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