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Wednesday, July 29, 1998 Published at 04:22 GMT 05:22 UK


A nation of landfills

More recycling would mean fewer landfills like this

The Council for the Protection of Rural England has warned the countryside is being destroyed by waste dumping.

It says enough waste to fill 5.5 million dumper trucks is disposed of in landfill sites in the UK each year.

Every year, 540 million tonnes of waste are generated in Britain. About 120 million tonnes of this end up in landfills.

The CPRE admits dumping waste is cheaper than other alternatives. But it says the practice is destroying the countryside by creating traffic, noise and dust.

Landfills are taking up increasing amounts of space. The organisation estimates in south and central England it is difficult to be more than 10 minutes away from the nearest dump.

The report proposes increasing the amount of household waste marked for recycling.

Rubbish from homes accounts for roughly a quarter of all landfill dumping and the government has set a target of the same proportion for household recycling.

But, as the BBC's Environment Correspondent, Richard Wilson, points out, far higher quantities could be re-used.

In some parts of Europe and Canada, recycling rates of up to 70% have been achieved.

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