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Science
COSTING THE EARTH
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Thursday 21:00-21:30
Costing the Earth tells stories which touch all our lives, looking at man's effect on the environment and at how the environment reacts. It questions accepted truths, challenges the people in charge and reports on progress towards improving the world we live in.
Contact Costing the Earth
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 24 May
PRESENTER
MIRIAM O'REILLY
Miriam O'Reilly
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 24 May 2007
Recycling

The War on Waste

Twenty years ago it was a clear cut environmental cause for well meaning greenies, but now there’s a real push by the government to get us all recycling because our rubbish can no longer go into landfill.
Every household in Britain produces one ton of waste a year and we’re running out of sites to bury it in. By 2010 the government wants us all to be recycling around half of our rubbish as well as reducing the amount we throw away, and as the landfill tax rises each year, so councils are getting tougher with householders who don’t recycle enough. As local authorities opt for long term contracts with private waste firms, new plants for treating, separating and recycling rubbish will be built in addition to new incinerators or energy recovery facilities to take residual waste. As a result not only do people fear having to pay more for waste disposal, but there are concerns that waste miles will increase dramatically meaning more heavy traffic transporting rubbish over greater distances. And how can incinerators be an incentive for us to recycle more?
At the moment many of our unwanted materials such as plastics go abroad to the Far East because there is a more buoyant market there for recyclates.
But if our rubbish is a commodity traded around the world, many people question why they don’t seem to be benefiting from it. As bin collections are halved and council taxes go up, there’s an increasing public desire for more of a say about what happens to our waste.
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