A Rubbish Service-Tonight

Anyone else just see this on ITV? Some of our supposedly re-cycled rubbish is ending up in INDIA! We are shipping tons of the stuff per year to that country & one landfill was on the same area that White Elephants live.
And some sealed containers of unsorted waste are in danger of exploding due to the build up of Methane Gas.

A Rubbish Service-Tonight

A Tonight investigation is to reveal for the first time that waste originally collected for recycling by four British local authorities is being dumped on Indian farmland near the migration path of wild elephants.

Following our investigation, the Local Government Association has called for a clear, accountable and transparent system so residents will continue to have confidence in the system and continue to recycle more.

It has written to every council leader in England and Wales to stress the importance of having detailed information about where recycled items are sold.

Following a tip-off that British waste was being buried in farmland wells, Tonight reporter Mark Jordan travelled to the state of Tamil Nadu and found waste including British newspapers DATED FROM THIS JANUARY, food packaging from Tesco, plastic bags from Mothercare and even a St George's flag.

After digging down four feet with a JCB at one well site, Tonight discovered a hidden mountain of British waste including Walkers crisps bags, Sainsbury's apple juice, children's report cards and newspapers such as The Telegraph. It is estimated that the well could be up to 30 feet deep.

Tonight tracked down supposedly recycled mail found at one Indian dump addressed to residents living in Tendring, Wellingborough and Wakefield District Councils and Leicestershire County Council.

Locals claim that they have found ten illegal dumping sites full of both American and British waste and that this has been going on for at least four years.

When presented with our evidence, the Environment Agency, which is tasked with policing these matters, said it would investigate further and take action if appropriate.

All four authorities collect recyclables intermingled in either one or two bins then send them to a sorting facility which will sell them on to be recycled in factories or mills.

All four authorities said they worked with licensed UK contractors. However, they added that they were concerned by our findings and where appropriate would investigate further.

Councillor Paul Bettison, of the Local Government Association, says: "If you had confronted me with a piece of my mail that I knew I had recycled and you just.. photographed it in India I would be pretty let down.

"And I .. would worry about whether I should continue recycling my mail but I would say to the owner of that piece of mail do continue.. and in the meantime your local authority will do its bit to make sure that that sort of thing doesn't happen again."

Last week it said that some companies refuse to tell councils where they sell recyclable material because of commercial confidentiality.

The LGA has written to the Environment Agency urging it to pressure these firms to be more transparent.

Confronted with a receipt for CDs he purchased, Geoff Moore of Essex says that he thought the item he put in his bin would end up in a recycling plant in Colchester. An astounded Geoff says: "If it's being dumped in India instead of dumped here.. what's the reason? Why .. why, what is green in that? I would think that the people in this street to hear that -- would think to themselves 'Why bother, why bother?' Do the council know that's what's happening to it? Do they care that's what's happening to it?"

The discovery in India is particularly worrying considering that a Tonight survey will also show that 46 local authorities HAVE NO IDEA what happens to their household collections of recyclable waste after it is sent to their contracted sorting facilities.

The programme contrasts this situation with local authorities' crackdown on residents for breaking rubbish collection rules in the name of protecting the environment.

According to the Environment Agency, Britain exports between 12 and 14 million tonnes of waste a year to be recycled in third world countries. The majority of these exports are legal and above board.

However, it is illegal to do so unless the waste has been properly divided into paper, metals, plastics and glass before it leaves the country.

The Environment Agency, who has charged nine companies in recent years for sending unsorted waste abroad, told Tonight: "We don't believe containers of mixed waste are going out now. Having said that there is no room for complacency, if we want to recycle more then we are really dependent on these international markets and it's incumbent on all of us to make sure that what we are throwing away and then what is subsequently exported is of the right standard and is wanted by the receiving countries, otherwise basically we set back UK recycling many, many decades."

Our evidence suggests that UK waste is not always being sorted before being sent for recycling. Ron Humphreys, whose company Abitibi Bowater runs one of the UK's largest paper recycling plants, says that he receives bales of supposedly sorted paper from household kerbside collections that is full of plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and other non-paper items.

The bales are totally useless to him as they would break his machines so he sells them on as unrecycled waste to UK brokers.

Humphreys says that this unrecycled waste will end up abroad. He says: "Well this will end up abroad no doubt about it. This will be loaded into a box and shipped abroad, possibly the Far East, it could be Indonesia, it could be China, it could even be India."

Nity Jayaraman, an international waste investigator for the past 10 years and who brought Tonight to the Indian tip sites, says: "Nearby there is a paper company, it's supposed to be importing paper waste and recycling it."

"And this company gets this waste takes a little bit of paper from it and the rest of it is pure trash - pure unrecyclable, unusable trash which is just dumped in places like this."

At $80 a tonne the company pays less than half the price for this material than they would pay for fully sorted paper. Jayaraman says that according to Indian law this kind of trash is considered hazardous waste. He says: "You're shipping out your garbage, you're shipping out your responsibility. And it violates every law, right from the time that it entered India, it's been violating laws because this is import of hazardous waste and the hazardous waste has come in illegally".

Andy Moore, Co-ordinator of the Community Recycling Network, says that local authorities have a duty of care to know where their recyclable waste is going and to ensure that is actually being recycled.

He explains: "Local authorities clearly have a duty of care to advise their householders as to what to put into the recycling and what not and householders clearly have a duty of care to put the right things in but local authorities also have a duty of care to the householders to make sure that the material they have so carefully separated is actually being recycled."

The Local Government Association's Cllr Paul Bettison adds: "Certainly from the indications that we have a local authority should be attemtping to find out what happens to their recyclates and simply knowing that you've sent them to the sorting facility does not guarantee that it's then going to be recyled."


Environment Agency - www.environment-agency.gov.uk

DEFRA - www.defra.gov.uk/

Local Government Association - www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=1

Campaign for Real Recycling - www.realrecycling.org.uk

WRAP - www.wrap.org.uk/

Lets Recycle - www.letsrecycle.com/
Makes you wonder what our feckin taxes go on!! :evil:
jarrod248 said:
I watched it and it's a bit of a touchy subject as last month I was changed to two-weekly collections but they never delivered the recycling bins - apparently there is a shortage.
Apparently they are made in Germany, and their having some big rollout of bins, so cant be arsed to do the overtime and bother with us :roll:
I'm not upset about our crap gong to India but I am annoyed at the list of websites/agencies at the bottom of your missive [hundreds of useless jobsworths paid for by us the taxpayers]
No problem in getting them here.In fact we have 4 blue bins! One for each of the appartments.Myself & my neighbours across the hall have got the large blue bins the same size as the grey & brown ones while the other 2 have half size ones.At present we struggle to fill two of them!
Brown bins on the other hand is a differnt story.I've been waiting for six months for mine.

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads