Britain Talks Trash

Britain’s Environment Secretary David Miliband published a waste plan for England last week. I’m just now getting around to writing about the strategy because I’ve been stunned by how much sense it makes.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) plan calls for a 45 percent reduction in waste produced and for 50 percent of all household waste to be recycled by 2020.

The scheme specifically advocates cutting food from the waste stream to curb landfill emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that speeds global warming. To achieve that, the strategy includes incentives for recycling waste and disincentives for landfill use. Kitchen scraps comprise 17 percent of English household waste.

It must be nice to have your leaders (Miliband) say things like this:

We need to not only recycle and reuse waste, but also prevent it in the first place. And there’s a particular challenge for businesses to produce less waste with their products, so consumers have less of it to dispose of.

Best of all, Defra views anaerobic digestion as the best way to produce energy from waste. The plan aims to produce energy from 25 percent of municipal waste by 2020, an increase from today’s 10 percent.

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