Waste by numbers
England produces around 29 million tonnes of municipal waste each year.
It costs a local authority between£80 and£100 to incinerate a tonne of rubbish. Recycling can be done for less than that according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme.
There are 121 waste disposal authorities in the country.
Incinerators cost at least£20m and take around a decade to build.
Many councils are entering into private finance initiative waste disposal contracts that will last 25 years or more.
Waste targets, fines and charges
The EU Landfill Directive stipulates that the UK must reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste landfill to 75%, 50% and 35% of its 1995 level by 2010, 2013 and 2020 respectively.
Charges and fines
Landfill tax is currently£32 a tonne of waste, but will rise to£48 a tonne of waste by 2010.
Councils will be hit with a bill up to£7m if they miss EU targets from 2013.
If waste projects already planned are delayed by just two years, England will exceed its landfill allocation by 13% and will face a£140m fine, according to the Audit Commission.
The Local Government Association claims that the government will collect£1.5bn in landfill tax over the next three years.