Waste Framework Directive a 'failure'
The British waste industry has already slashed its emissions well ahead of government targets but could go further, according to a Dirk Hazell of the Environmental Services Association.
Mr Hazell also attacked the government branding the Waste Framework Directive a 'failure' and predicted tighter European Union guidelines in the future.
He said: "At the end of last year ... the waste management sector could reduce its annual emissions by 5m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020 equivalent of taking over 3m cars off Britain's roads.
"Our sector's emissions fell by 58 per cent during the period 1990 to 2006, a sectoral performance far in excess of the UK's international obligations.
"But to realise the waste industry's further contribution to greenhouse gas reductions will require the application of appropriate incentives throughout the economy to help to align environmental and economic outcomes.
"Indeed, my personal view has always been that the British Government's strategy in negotiating the new Waste Framework Directive will over time be seen to have failed.
Indeed, aspects of it have already failed - and that there will over time be greater pressure than is currently anticipated across the EU to apply higher efficiency standards to all aspects of recycling and recovery."