This is the astonishing amount of rubbish Lancashire sends to landfill every year

Lancashire sent 285,390 tonnes of waste to landfills in 2017-18
Lancashire sent 285,390 tonnes of waste to landfills in 2017-18

Lancashire is recycling less rubbish than it did three years ago, figures show.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, Lancashire recycled or composted 229,869 tonnes of all waste, 39 per cent of the total, according to the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures.

That is worse than three years ago, when 42 per cent of the rubbish was recycled.

England recycled 42 per cent of its waste over the last year, in line with three years ago. To improve recycling rates, the Government has announced that every home will have weekly food waste collections and packaging will be more clearly labelled to show if it can go in household recycling bins.

Councillor Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, said: "The best way to boost recycling rates is to prevent unrecyclable waste from entering the environment in the first place.

"Councils are keen to work with supermarkets and manufacturers so that they can switch to recyclable packaging where possible."

Lancashire sent 285,390 tonnes of waste to landfills in 2017-18, 48 per cent of the total.

Incinerator plants burned 11 per cent of the rubbish produced in Lancashire. Of it, just 14 per cent was sent to specialist energy from waste power plants to generate heat and electricity.

The Government wants half of all household waste to be recycled by 2020, and to cut the use of landfill sites to 10 per cent by 2035.

A cross party report, launched in July in the House of Lords, called on the Government to take oversight of the waste industry and introduce an incineration tax.

Research revealed that harmful particles released by incinerators in England last year were the equivalent to the emissions from a quarter-of-a-million lorries travelling 75,000 miles.

Shlomo Dowen, of United Kingdom Without Incineration Network, believes most of the waste being incinerated could be recycled.

He said: "We need to stop burning recyclable material, and this means we need to stop building new incinerators.

"Separate collection of food waste should be accompanied by increasing the range of recyclable material collected at the kerbside, and Government needs to introduce an incineration tax to ensure that those sending waste for incineration pay the cost of the pollution they cause."