Five questions about: Rubbish


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The Independent Online

Rubbish? Isn't this a column about money?

There's "wealth in waste" according to the Local Government Association. It estimates the waste and recycling sector could create 50,000 jobs and generate £3bn extra revenue for the economy.

£3bn? Just how much rubbish is that?

We throw away 26 million tonnes of tin cans, old fridges and even disposable nappies each year.

So how can we turn that into cash?

We need to increase the amount of household recycling to 70 per cent. It's currently at 43 per cent, but was just 13 per cent a decade ago.

It's costing more than ever to recycle stuff, so can we get more help?

The LGA says increases in the rate of landfill tax have raked in £3bn pounds from local taxpayers. It recommends building new recycling centres - funded by the landfill tax receipts - as well as introducing reward schemes for residents who recycle.

Will that be enough?

If the Government plays ball rather than continuing to cream off landfill tax cash then recycling could become easier and cheaper. It would also help ease the impact of council budget cuts on local people, says the LGA.

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