The news was revealed in a damning National Audit Office report on Defra’s management of the PFI programme.
Responding to the report, LGA Environment Board chairman Paul Bettison said: “Local people and local councils deserve great credit for the steps that have been taken to increase our recycling rates. However, there remains a pressing need to do more to reduce this country’s reliance on dumping rubbish in the ground. Britain throws more waste into landfill than any other country in the EU, and these sites are expensive for the council taxpayer and damaging to the environment.
Landfill tax cash could deliver waste infrastructure
“Councils are pulling out the stops to deliver projects that will deal with waste. But the reality is the Government has hit the council taxpayer with a £1.5 billion bill over the next three years by going back on its undertaking to refund money raised through landfill tax to local authorities. This is cash that could be used to build the facilities that are needed to divert waste away from landfill.
“There remain many barriers to building the waste disposal plants that the country needs. Ultimately the cost of dealing with our waste will be higher in the long term if we do not start to take action now.”