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Londoners face multi-billion pound waste disposal bill

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LONDON COUNCIL Taxpayers are facing a £5bn bill for disposing of the capital's waste between now and 2020, it was revealed this week.

The huge bill was revealed by consultant Mouchel Parkman in a report, Waste modelling for London, produced jointly with Cranfi d University for the Greater London Authority.

The report states that disposal costs have been rising by 50% year on year since 2004 and will continue to do so until 2020, chiefly due to increases in the Landfill Tax.

Simply 'doing nothing' will cost £5.2bn - and this excludes the financial penalties that would be imposed by the EU for missing landfill diversion targets. 'Local authorities have to be aware of these extra costs that will come their way, ' said John Duffy, environmental adviser to Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

The report finds that the cheapest way to meet waste targets would be to recycle dry and green waste and put all remaining rubbish through Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT). This would cost £5.4bn.

Energy from waste via incineration came in as the most expensive solution at £5.8bn.

Plant operators were unconvinced that there were sufficient incentives to get the plants built.

'We will fund these from our balance sheets, but only do so when the projects become bankable, ' said Biffa Waste Management director Peter Jones. 'These complexes are going to cost £30 more per tonne than landfill costs at the moment.' Jones added that in order to meet waste targets, 300 facilities will need to be built over the next 14 years.

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