What a lot of rot! Compost will go to landfill, rather than on the roses

Companies could be orga-NICKED for selling green waste to farmers and gardeners

Brussels, 25th August 2006 -- Pre(com)posterous changes to rules governing green waste will mean tonnes of compost will now have to go to landfill, rather than being spread on gardens and farms - leaving local authorities with the prospect of a multi-million pound fine from the EU for failing to meet recycling targets, Conservative deputy Leader in the European Parliament, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, has warned.

Until recently, once green waste had been shredded, composted and screened it was classified as 'product' and could be bagged and sold in bulk. However, recent changes now say the material is still waste and cannot be moved without significant additional paperwork. A gardener would now require three separate permits to store, transport and use the compost on his roses!

With costs set to spiral for compost processors, it is almost certain a vast amount of composted waste will go to landfill instead. As Green waste represents around 50 percent of the annual recycling tonnage, many Councils' recycling figures will effectively be cut in half at a time when the European Commission is already threatening the UK government with fines of up to £180 million for its failure to significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Sir Robert said:

"Compost is a harmless soil improver used on gardens, allotments and farms across the UK. Government regulation will make it prohibitive for companies to produce compost and so tonnes of green waste will end up going to landfill.

"The government is already facing fines for failing to significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. I wonder what these people are thinking sometimes when they come up with these rules. We should be encouraging the recycling of household waste, rather than piling bureaucracy on companies that are selling a harmless product and keeping our landfill waste down. Clearly it shows that Defra is not up to mulch."

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