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Britain the 'dustbin of Europe': official

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Nov 12, 2007
Britain has become the "dustbin of Europe" as Britons throw more rubbish into landfill sites than any other country in the European Union, new figures showed Monday.

If the current trend continues Britain will run out of landfill space -- used for general rubbish which cannot be recycled -- in only nine years, said the report by the Local Government Association,

According to the most recent comparable figures available, Britain puts the same amount of rubbish into landfill sites as the 18 EU countries with the lowest landfill rates combined.

"Britain is the dustbin of Europe with more rubbish being thrown into landfill than any other country on the continent," said Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA environment board.

"For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over."

According to the figures from 2005, the countries with the highest amount of rubbish thrown into landfill sites were:

- Britain: around 22.6 million tonnes.

- Italy: around 17.6 million tonnes.

- Spain: around 14.2 million tonnes.

- France: around 12 million tonnes.

- Poland: around 8.6 million tonnes.

The study shows that the amount of rubbish being thrown into British landfill has declined "markedly" in the last 12 months, but notes that other countries have also made drastic cuts, leaving Britain at the top of the heap.

Recent research shows that up to 40 percent of packaging in a normal shopping basket cannot be recycled, it said, calling on householders, shops and manufacturers to take steps to decrease that figure.

"There needs to be an urgent and radical overhaul of the way in which rubbish is thrown away," said Bettison.

"Local people, businesses and councils all have a vital role to play to protect our countryside before it becomes buried in a mountain of rubbish," he added.

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Ignored and harassed, Indian scavengers demand better work life
New Delhi (AFP) Nov 12, 2007
Under a thick blanket of smoke, Shahbuddin Khan sifts through a pile of rubbish to pick out pieces of glass, metal and plastic that he sells to earn about two dollars a day.

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