Recycling shortfall could cost us millions

MISSED recycling targets could end up costing North Somerset taxpayers tens of millions of pounds in fines. Although North Somerset Council is recycling more than ever before, it is set to run up millions of pounds in fines as Government targets get tough

MISSED recycling targets could end up costing North Somerset taxpayers tens of millions of pounds in fines.Although North Somerset Council is recycling more than ever before, it is set to run up millions of pounds in fines as Government targets get tougher.Kay Hobday, a spokesman for four partner authorities, including North Somerset, working on waste issues, said: "We are looking at building mechanical sorting and biological and heat treatment facilities as alternatives to landfill."But it's likely these won't be ready until 2013, but fines will start from 2010. The Government will be fining us before we can start doing anything about it."Each of the four authorities will get fines of some kind because we can't reduce the amount we send to landfill fast enough."It will probably be £50million across all four authorities and will fall on each according to their waste limits. North Somerset will have a middling allowance compared to the other three."We will start to feel the pinch towards 2009 and 2010 and it will tighten continuously. If we do nothing to try to reduce the amount of recoverable waste going to landfill, the fines would be astronomical."In a joint statement with the other authorities, North Somerset's waste management leader, Councillor Deborah Yamanaka, said: "Each of the partner authorities supports the need to reduce biodegradable waste sent to landfill and supports the principle of the Government's incentive scheme."But the huge anomalies in the timetables and targets are a cause for real concern. "We are working hard with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Government Office of the South West to find ways to reduce the impact on council finances."North Somerset aims to send just five per cent of household waste to landfill by 2020.Consultation on which waste recovery facilities to build and where is set to begin in the New Year.


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