Monday, 8 March 2010

Businesses failing to recycle

Millions of tonnes of recycling is still being sent to landfill by businesses despite a multimillion pound Government campaign, according to spending watchdogs.

By Louise Gray, Environment CorrespondentPublished: 7:00AM GMT 05 Mar 2010
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spent £240 million between 2005 and 2008 on encouraging businesses to cut waste. The money was spent on raising awareness, training managers and developing easier ways to recycled.
But a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) found the 200 million tonnes of waste from construction and industry only fell by 11 per cent during the period.

Amyas More, head of the NAO, said at this rate the Government was unlikely to meet a target to cut the amount of waste from business going to landfill by 20 per cent by 2010.
"The low awareness of the Programme among businesses and the absence of clear targets and reliable information to measure progress mean we cannot say whether the Department achieved value for money from the £240 million spent on the Programme," he said.
Taxpayers face huge fines from Europe unless landfill is cut.
Edward Leigh, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, pointed out that business generates three-fifths of all waste.
"It is easy to see why it has not been a very successful programme: lack of detailed information means that the Department cannot measure its progress or target the initiative effectively and with no evaluation of the programme to date it is not possible to say if value for money has been achieved or not," he said. "But the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance must be the fact that the strategy underpinning the Department’s programme was not fully implemented until April 2008, just after the programme had officially ended. Talk about shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted."