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Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Taxpayers foot firms' waste bill
Rubbish
Private firms are charged 20m for rubbish collections
Businesses in Scotland are enjoying a massive public subsidy for refuse collection, according to a new report.

The Accounts Commission for Scotland, which monitors the way in which public money is used, found that the country's council tax payers are having to fork out a third of the cost for the local authority service.

Councils pay around 30m a year to collect commercial waste, but they charge private companies only 20m - with domestic ratepayers picking up the difference.

The commission is now recommending that local authorities ensure their charges fully cover the cost of dealing with waste.

Recycling targets missed

It wants businesses which avoid payment by illegally dumping their refuse to be tracked down and penalised.

The report also shows that most of Scotland's councils are nowhere near meeting UK government recycling targets.

Only 3.8% of waste was recycled last year, well below the government's original year 2000 target of 25%. That target is now being reviewed.

The commission says local authorities should give recycling higher priority and the Scottish Executive should give more help.

Pressure group Friends of the Earth Scotland agrees, pointing out that Scotland's recycling rates are much lower than those of other European countries.

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09 Dec 99 | Scotland
'What a load of rubbish'
28 Dec 99 | Scotland
Christmas tree recycling plan
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