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Britian needs coherent waste policy, says CBI

The CBI is launching a campaign today calling for government action on Britain's waste policy, as part of an initiative aimed at helping the country meet its climate change targets and improve energy security.

The employers' organisation wants a review of government policy to make sure Britain is making the most of its rubbish, in the context of 300 landfill sites set to close in the next 10 years, and the need for 2000 new waste management facilities to replace them, at an estimated cost of £10bn.

Dr Neil Bentley, the CBI's deputy director-general, said a move to a "zero-waste economy" would be a major opportunity for British business. "We risk missing a trick by not harnessing the huge potential of waste," Dr Bentley said. "Waste management should be seen as an important part of the green economy and our growth strategy."

The Government should start with a full audit of the existing regulations, the CBI says. It must also clarify planning rules affecting landfill sites and other rubbish-related schemes, work on plans for creating energy from waste, and develop an incentive scheme for recycling that is aimed particularly at small and medium-sized companies.

"Ambitious waste policies will allow the Government to hit a broad range of its objectives from cutting emissions to bolstering energy security," Dr Bentley said. "We should also be encouraging councils to share recycling and waste facilities, while businesses could be incentivised to sell their recyclable waste."