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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 09:21 GMT
'Charges needed' in war on waste
More than 27m tonnes of waste is poured into tips each year
Householders who throw out large amounts of rubbish instead of recycling should be charged more, councils in England and Wales say.

The Local Government Association, which is launching its War on Waste campaign, also wants to reward those households which throw out less.

It is calling on the government to give councils powers to charge people depending on how much they throw away.

The UK dumps more household waste into landfill than any other EU state.

The LGA, which represents 400 councils in England and Wales, says the "days are over" when people could throw rubbish away without worrying about the consequences.

Councils face fines of up to 150 per metric ton of landfill waste, and the association is warning these costs could be passed on to taxpayers.

For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over
Councillor Paul Bettison, of the LGA

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

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

"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."

The LGA wants to reward those households which throw out less by cutting their council tax bills.

'Europe's dustbin'

The UK disposes of more than 27 million tons of waste in this way each year - 7 million more than any other country, the LGA says.

Get a grip LGA and stop talking rubbish
Barry Lane, Eastbourne

This is the equivalent of half a ton per household, per year, making the UK the "dustbin of Europe", it says.

An area of 109 square miles is now landfill and landfill space could run out in 2016, it adds.

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

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

Should householders face extra charges for not recycling?
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Public reaction to the proposals

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