Revealed: shocking amount of rubbish Lancashire sends to landfill every year

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More than one third of Lancashire's rubbish goes to landfill, one of the highest rates in England.

In 2018-19, 221,625 tonnes of rubbish were buried in the ground, according to the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures.

That was 38 per cent of all the local authority's waste.

The proportion of waste Lancashire sent to landfill sites fell from 48 per cent the year before.

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In 2018-19, 221,625 tonnes of rubbish were buried in the groundIn 2018-19, 221,625 tonnes of rubbish were buried in the ground
In 2018-19, 221,625 tonnes of rubbish were buried in the ground

Across England, using landfill sites is becoming less common.

The average rate across the country was 11 per cent last year, down from 13 per cent the year before.

The Government wants all local authorities to cut their landfill use to 10 per cent by 2035 and have half of all household waste recycled by 2020.

Recycling was the second most common way of disposing of rubbish in Lancashire.

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Around 246,333 tonnes were recycled or composted, which equals 42 per cent of the total.

Incineration plants burned 86,571 tonnes of waste, 15 per cent of the total.

Last year a cross party report in the House of Lords called on the Government to take oversight of the industry and introduce an incineration tax.

The trade body for waste disposers, the Environmental Services Association, said England is likely to miss its recycling target.

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Jacob Hayler, the group's executive director, said greater awareness of pollution and environmental issues caused by waste "hasn't yet translated" into higher recycling rates.

"Despite the gloomy picture, we know that political change is on the horizon and that a raft of new policies, promised in the manifestos of all parties, are likely to give recycling the shot in the arm that it needs.

"But there will clearly be some serious catching up to do once they are implemented if we are to keep up with our European neighbours, and even the devolved administrations in Great Britain, over the next decade."

Shlomo Dowen, of United Kingdom Without Incineration Network, said much of the country's incinerated waste could be recycled.

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He added: "It is simply unacceptable that so much of our valuable resources end up being lost through incineration.

"The Government needs to support councils to renegotiate or cancel waste contracts that prioritise incineration over recycling. An incineration tax should be introduced to help fund recycling activities and to ensure that we make the best use of our discarded materials."

Councillor David Renard, the Local Government Association's environment spokesman, said: "Councils want to increase recycling rates and have worked extremely hard to maintain them.

"The fact that recycled food waste has increased, waste sent to landfill has fallen and residual waste has decreased, reflects ongoing efforts by councils and is good news for the environment and consumers.

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"The slight fall in the official recycling rates last year reflects the urgent need for manufacturers to stop putting non-recyclable items in the system, pay the full cost of recycling packaging and fund a producer responsibility scheme."