Home > Environment, Government > How 12million tons of your carefully sorted UK waste is being dumped in foreign landfill sites.

How 12million tons of your carefully sorted UK waste is being dumped in foreign landfill sites.

By Steve Doughty  5th April 2013.      Find Full Article here:-

The great recycling con trick……

  • Government vows to tighten inspections at ports to curb the problem
  • Environment Agency orders councils to check on their contractors
  • Waste sent to countries including China, Indonesia and India

Millions of tons of household rubbish painstakingly sorted by families for recycling is being dumped abroad.

Whitehall has admitted that waste from recycling bins is being shipped to countries including China, India and Indonesia, where much of it ends up in landfill.

In papers published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ministers concede that what happens to the 12million tons of ‘green’ waste shipped abroad every year is largely beyond their control.

Household rubbish that has been sorted by families for recycling is being dumped in landfill sites across the worldHousehold rubbish that has been sorted by families for recycling is being dumped in landfill sites across the world.

The trade in sending rubbish abroad – mainly to Asia – has doubled over the past decade, as councils have increasingly turned to contractors to deal with mountains of waste generated by compulsory recycling schemes.

The law states that this rubbish should be recycled once it is sent abroad – but Defra now admits that in some countries it is simply dumped.

Environment secretary Owen Paterson said that Defra plans to tighten inspections at ports to curb the illegal trade of green wasteEnvironment secretary Owen Paterson said that Defra plans to tighten inspections at ports to curb the illegal trade of green waste.

The Government has always insisted that household rubbish is carefully recycled – but the Daily Mail revealed earlier this year that large amounts are deemed unusable by recycling plants, and instead sent to landfill. Now the Environment Agency has confirmed that material sent to China, Indonesia and India is also buried, rather than recycled.

As well as household rubbish, Defra admitted that other waste dumped abroad includes used tyres, sent to China, and discarded televisions and computers, which end up in West Africa.

Doretta Cocks, of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections, said: ‘People will be very shocked by this development.

‘Most people believe their rubbish is recycled in this country. Now it turns out there are container ships coming here from China filled with televisions and computers … and going home stacked with containers filled with our recycled rubbish. That is shameful.’

The revelation comes after Defra launched a consultation with the waste industry about new recycling rules. Consultation documents concede that waste is being dumped abroad, although ‘the exact extent of illegal shipping is unknown’.

If stricter checks were introduced, the department says ‘our expectations are that the amount of waste exported illegally and then dumped in developing countries would reduce’.

The Environment Agency has asked councils to improve the quality of the recycling they collect, and to check what their contractors are doing with it.

It has told local authorities: ‘In the UK and the EU, increasing amounts of waste collected for recycling are sent overseas for reprocessing. Much of the waste collected from households … will ultimately be exported.

‘The majority of illegal waste exports we have intercepted include waste originally collected by or on behalf of local authorities via household recycling collection services.

‘We are particularly concerned about illegal exports of mixed household waste mis-described as paper or plastic. These typically derive from poorly-performing household collection and sorting systems.’

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