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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007, 04:20 GMT
'Dustbin' UK tops landfill table
More than 27m tonnes of waste is poured into tips each year
The UK dumps more household waste into landfill than any other EU state, according to figures.

It disposes of more than 27m tonnes of waste in this way each year - 7m more than any other country, the Local Government Association (LGA) says.

This makes the UK the "dustbin of Europe", it says.

An area the size of Warwick - 109 sq miles - is now landfill and landfill space could run out in 2016, it adds.

Waste collection charge

Germany, which has a population 25% bigger than the UK, puts 10m tonnes into rubbish tips each year.

The LGA, which represents 400 councils in England and Wales, wants the government to allow local authorities powers to reduce council tax for households throwing out less rubbish and impose separate charges for collecting waste.

It is time manufacturers were made to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products
Paul Bettison, LGA

It is also calling for the manufacturers of single-use items such as nappies, disposable cameras and batteries to contribute to the cost of dealing with their disposal.

Councillor Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA's Environment Board, said: "It is time manufacturers were made to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products. It is totally unacceptable that the council tax payer is picking up the bill for business."

Landfill fines

He said: "Britain is the dustbin of Europe with more rubbish being thrown into landfill than any other country on the continent.

"For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over."

Councils face fines of up to 150 per tonne of landfill waste, and there are warnings these costs could be passed on to taxpayers.

After the UK, Italy is next with 20m tonnes, followed by Spain (17m), France (13m) and Germany (10m).

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