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Letter: Useful waste

Sir: It is sad that such a small percentage of household waste was recycled in 1995/96. But that hardly justifies the headline "Recycling is a wasted effort" (16 January). Those readers who would prefer to put their rubbish to use, rather than see it clog up the countryside in ugly landfill sites, take note: waste can be very worthwhile.

It generates income. In 1996, pounds 10m was paid to aluminium can collectors and if every can used in the UK this year were recycled, nearly pounds 40m would be available for charities, community groups and individuals. It saves energy. Europe's first dedicated aluminium recycling plant, which lies in my constituency, can rescue up to 95 per cent of the energy originally used to make the aluminium from its ore.

And in spite of the gloomy findings from the annual survey that you reported, aluminium recycling, at least, is on the up.


(Warrington South, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1