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Food scraps ‘should be banned from bins’

New plans would see most materials recycled

Recycling at home

Recycling conserves resources and energy

Households could be banned from binning food waste, cardboard and plastics under new government recycling plans.

The list of items that cannot be thrown away would also include paper, metal, textiles and garden waste, as the government aims to cut down the amount of waste sent to landfill. These materials would instead have to be recycled, composted or burned for energy.

Curious about recycling? Our essential recycling guide will equip you with some recycling basics – plus we reveal what happens to your rubbish. 

Changes will reduce landfill and emissions

Environment secretary Hilary Benn said: ‘We have made good progress, but we can go further. We’re sending a lot of waste currently to landfill which really doesn’t make sense, one because it’s costing money because of the landfill levy, two because it produces emissions, and three, there are people out there prepared to pay you for materials.’

The proposals, made by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), will be put out for a 12-week consultation. Benn said a ban on most items could be introduced within five years.

Councils concerned about recycling proposals

Local Government Association chairman Gary Porter said: ‘While councils are paying ever more to the government in landfill tax, they cannot also be expected to pay for building and running new plants to sort banned materials and process food waste.

‘Defra needs to think carefully about where the money to pay for a landfill ban will come from and how the ban will be policed. Councils do not want to be put in a position where they have to fine people for putting their leftovers in the wrong bin.’

Our product recycling tool helps you find where and how to recycle a range of electrical and household products including TVs, DVD players, washing machines and fridge freezers.

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