ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY Margaret Beckett last week hinted that she was prepared to build more waste incinerators as a way of cutting down on the number of new landfill sites.
She also called a summit meeting to discuss options on how to reduce the amount of waste transferred to landfill.
Beckett admitted the government had failed to make enough progress towards its target of cutting waste to landfill to 35% of 1995 levels by 2020.
In her first policy speech since taking office in June, Beckett hinted that the Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was prepared to advocate construction of more waste incineration plants despite strong opposition.
'We must face up to some unpalatable decisions, ' said Beckett. 'There are profound disagreements on this issue but we can't afford to close down our options. We need to come together so I intend to hold a waste summit in mid November.'
Waste experts have said that up to 150 incinerators will have to be built by 2020 if the UK is to meet the landfill target (NCE 8 June 2000).