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UK\'s Beckett urges England to boost recycling

03.06.2002
Odpady
UK\ s Beckett urges England to boost recycling
LONDON - UK environment minister Margaret Beckett yesterday urged local councils in England to dump less and recycle more waste products, noting that the country lags the rest of Europe in this. \"We are at the bottom of the league when it comes to recycling rates in Europe.
That is just not acceptable,\" Beckett said in an address to a recycling conference. On average only 11.0 percent of household waste is recycled or composted in England at present, well below the 49.7 percent achieved by Switzerland and Austria or the 48.0 percent recorded in Germany, according to figures from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Food (DEFRA). \"Landfill is not an option for the future. Nor is it environmentally friendly. I want to see Englad climb up the league table - we need to catch Austria and Switzerland, which have fine recycling records,\" she said. The European Union has put recycling and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills at the top of its environment agenda. The 15-member bloc introduced a series of regulations this year aimed at improving recyling rates for packaging, electrical and electronic waste, and for safely scrapping old cars. As a result, recycling rates should rise for materials such as aluminium, used in packaging, copper cabling or even gold and platinum, used in electronics, as well as glass and plastics. Britain has subscribed to the new rules but has had not been able to implement them smoothly, which has raised the prospect of mountains of old appliances piling up in landfills, or old cars being dumped by the roadside. \"Central government, local government, the community sector, private industry and the population at large, need to work together to recycle, re-use and recover the waste produced in England,\" Beckett said. Beckett did not include Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in her rallying call because the devolution of power to these regions gives them the right to deal with the matter themselves. \"There are (recycling) targets set for the UK, but in terms of what acutally happens, that is a devolved issue,\" a spokeswoman for the department said. \"We need all councils in England to do what they can to provide the public with easy-to-find and easy-to-use recycling facilities. It is already happening in many parts of the country - it needs to happen in every borough,\" she said. REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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