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Putsman's knock


Your news item Landfill tax on household waste to reach £35/t (NCE 17/24 April) creates the false impression that all construction waste attracts a landfill tax of £2/t.

Under the current tax regime 'active' (ie biodegradeable) waste from household, industrial and commercial activities attracts a tax of £14/t. This rate applies to construction waste streams such as timber, metals, plastics and various types of packaging such as paper, cardboard etc.

It is this rate which is predicted to rise to £35/t after 2005.

Only 'inert' construction wastes, including rock, soils, brick, concrete and gypsum/plaster materials are taxed at £2/t. Experience from Europe suggests that increasing the landfill tax to the levels predicted will prove an effective way of increasing the quantities of construction materials recycled and re-used, rather than being despatched to landfill.

Tony Putsman (M), 4 Oakwell Drive, Leeds, LS8 4AE

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