Preserve our Countryside Sept02

In days gone by, councils would collect and dispose of your redundant fridge or deep freeze from your home at no cost and these old white goods would be refurbished and exported at an affordable price to eager importers in developing countries. Such recycling offered small repair shops an opportunity to earn income. Lower priced refurbished fridges helped save money for many hospitals, clinics and schools in poor countries. Our ratepayers and Local Authorities did not have to pay for disposal of fridges or deep freezers. Similarly, end of life vehicles could be delivered to scrap merchants who made their living by selling them on for parts and residual metal content.

Until recently, we did not have our countryside littered with fridges and abandoned cars, but sadly the countryside of West Suffolk is now despoiled by rusting goods because of new disposal directives from the European Union. Our councils, inundated with complaints from irate residents, search desperately for finance to collect, store and dispose mountains of such waste. Local Authorities are forced to pay millions for disposal.

The British government was signatory to these changes in EU legislation but it failed to take appropriate action at that time to establish recycling plants in the UK in anticipation of the current need for efficient disposal of waste e.g. disposal of CFC in foam packing in fridges and heavy metal components of cars including batteries. Such unacceptable abdication of responsibility by our ministers has precipitated a national charge of about 3bn enough to refurbish and modernise 200 NHS hospitals or 500 dilapidated primary and secondary schools.

I cannot understand why the Government continues to dither over appropriate action to deal with illegal dumping of waste in the countryside. Why is there no legislation to make the seller of a car duty bound to register a change of ownership so that the last registered keeper could be held responsible for disposal cost of an end of life vehicle? What are the Government criteria for setting recycling targets for local authorities and how does it intend to deal with councils which failed to secure a share of its 140m aid package that was three times oversubscribed?

It is time for this Government to take action to preserve the countryside. It should immediately:


  1. Consult all local authorities including Suffolk county and St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath and Babergh district councils to establish accurate data of dumped goods e.g. type, quantity, geographic location, local cost of collection, storage and disposal etc.
  2. Establish level and type of compensation for Local Authorities based on population density and other appropriate parameters.
  3. Introduce effective legislation for those who litter our countryside.
  4. Encourage, with suitable tax incentives, the establishment of recycling plants throughout the country to minimise the cost of disposal and eliminate this unnecessary pollution of the environment.
  5. Require manufacturers of new equipment to devise products that are biodegradable or can be readily recycled.


So folks, let us "Preserve our countryside!"