Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 11:12 UK

City's landfill site at capacity

Chelson Meadow landfill site
Chelson Meadow's household recycle centre will remain open

Rubbish from a Devon city is to be transferred to a private landfill site in Cornwall.

The move follows the closure of Plymouth's Chelson Meadow tip, which will be officially full from 1600 BST.

Rubbish will be compacted at Chelson's waste transfer facility, before being taken to a private landfill at Lean Quarry near Liskeard on bulk trailers.

But Cornwall MP Colin Breed has described the decision by Plymouth City Council as "selfish".

In 2006, the council awarded Viridor Waste Management a seven-year contract to deal with the city's rubbish when Chelson Meadow reached capacity.

Mr Breed, the MP for South East Cornwall, warned it would lead to a significant increase in heavy lorries and said it was "irresponsible" of Plymouth to dump its waste in its neighbour's back garden.

Chelson is not a landfill, it's a land mountain, which cannot grow any higher
Councillor Michael Leaves, Plymouth City Council

"It is totally selfish and reflects the actions of Plymouth City Council in not addressing these problems by dumping the problem on someone else," he told BBC News.

"We do not want it and we do not need it."

Plymouth City Council said it was working hard to find a longer term solution and has been working with Devon County Council and Torbay Council on a joint project, which includes an Energy from Waste facility.

Councillor Michael Leaves said when landfill operations began in the 1960s at Chelson Meadow people were unaware of the impact it had on the environment.

Tax hike

"The world of waste is changing and so are we - Chelson is not a landfill, it's a land mountain, which cannot grow any higher," he said.

"We all have our part to play in ensuring our rubbish does not poison and damage the earth for our children and our grandchildren."

Residents have been urged to recycle and compost more.

"This is not just about being green it's about how much it will cost us all financially," Councillor Leaves said.

"If we do not recycle more, we will all end up paying significantly higher council tax to pay for the fines we could face as well as the price we have to pay to landfill."

Plymouth currently recycles and composts about 30% of its household rubbish.

The household waste recycling centre at Chelson will remain open to the public.


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