A few statistics worth thinking about from a recent story in the Evening Post:

Of the 2 million tonnes of rubbish created in the West [council areas Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire] each year, 900,000 tonnes comes from the construction industry.

Much of this is rubble and finds its way into landfill sites, including old quarries, and some is moved outside the Avon area.

Of the remaining 1.1 million tonnes, less than a third – 330,000 tonnes – is municipal waste, collected from homes or generated by councils themselves.

More than two-thirds is commercial or industrial waste. This is the responsibility of the private companies that generate it – not the councils.

The local authorities have two functions when it comes to waste.

They have to encourage waste reduction and recycling, collect household rubbish and dispose of it.

The vast majority of what we do not recycle ends up in landfill sites – in Buckinghamshire, Devon and Dorset as well as local sites.

Landfill taxes are set to rise from £40 a tonne this year to £48 next year and eventually to around £70.

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