Suffolk shows increase in rubbish

SUFFOLK might aspire to being the greenest county - but its residents are throwing out nearly twice as much rubbish as they were a decade ago.The amount of waste produced in Suffolk has increased from 370,000 tonnes in 1997/98 to 675,000 tonnes in 2006/7.

SUFFOLK might aspire to being the greenest county - but its residents are throwing out nearly twice as much rubbish as they were a decade ago.

The amount of waste produced in Suffolk has increased from 370,000 tonnes in 1997/98 to 675,000 tonnes in 2006/7.

And while more is being recycled, more is also being added to landfill sites.

Although the population of the county has increased over that period the amount of rubbish they throw out has also risen

In 1997 every person in the county produced 0.56 tonnes of waste. By 2007 that figure had almost doubled to 0.96 tonnes.

And while the proportion of waste recycled has trebled from just over 14 per cent to just under 43pc over the decade, the amount of waste the county has put into landfill sites has also increased by more than 20pc, from 317,000 tonnes to 385,000 tonnes.

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The figures were produced by Suffolk County Council, but have been analysed by opposition Liberal Democrats who are angered that the Conservative-led county is set to relax its target to recycle 60pc of waste by 2010 - it now aims to achieve that target by 2015.

Suffolk environment spokesman Eddy Alcock said the figures show how tough it is to reduce the amount of waste produced.

He said: “We have been talking to supermarkets about reducing the number of plastic bags they hand out - but they have to address the overall issue of packaging.

“The first thing we want people to do, before they get into recycling, is to reduce the amount of packaging they produce.

“But that is not something that is easy to do - we have to put pressure on the big supermarkets.”

Liberal Democrat group deputy leader Andrew Cann said the figures were very worrying.

He said: “It is good that the amount of waste being recycled is increasing, but it isn't going up fast enough and the increase in the amount going to landfill makes the aim of being the greenest county look very doubtful.

“One reason the amount of waste going into landfill has increased was the decision to cut funding to the Real Nappy Network.

“That has finally now been restored, but it would have been a complete own goal not to fund that service which cuts a great number of disposable nappies going into landfill.”

Nick Hardingham, from the Mid Suffolk branch of Friends of the Earth, was not surprised by the increase in the waste being generated.

He said: “You can see this in the supermarkets - there is a lot of unnecessary packaging on just about everything.

“We would urge people to prepare their food from scratch so you don't get all the unnecessary packaging - but it is difficult to find things that are not wrapped up these days.”

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