Waste plan slammed

An MEP for the South East of England has hit out at proposals which would see London continuing to export its waste into the region for the next 20 years.

Caroline Jackson, Green MEP, argues that the draft South East Plan, which will be used to determine planning strategy until 2025, should not require London’s satellite counties to absorb the capital’s rubbish.

The draft plan suggests the counties should take approximately 25 million tonnes of waste from London over the next two decades.

“This is absolute madness, the South-East hasn’t got the facilities to deal with its own waste, let alone London’s,” said Dr Lucas.

“We must adopt a zero-waste strategy as has been done successfully in parts of Australia and Canada by improving re-use, composting and recycling and cutting packaging.

“Landfill sites are increasingly scarce, expensive and toxic. Incinerators discourage recycling as they constantly need to be fed, consume millions of gallons of increasingly scarce water and produce highly toxic discharges.

“The only way we can avoid drowning in a sea of waste is if Government takes steps to stop us producing so much of it.”

The wide-ranging regional plans are used to inform the decisions of planners and give guidance on where to build everything from homes and shops to offices and factories.

As well as suggesting the region takes a share of London’s waste, the South East’s plan recommends 578,000 new homes be built in the region by 2020.

If the draft is accepted Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire will be expected to take the bulk of the waste, 4.4 million tonnes each, with Kent to Landfill a further 3.2 million tonnes.

Milton Keynes will be asked to accommodate 2.7 million tonnes while Berkshire, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex each get 2.2 tonnes.

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie