LOCAL authorities on Teesside have set themselves the target of becoming the first in the country to end the use of landfill for disposing of waste.

Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton councils are already leading the way, with the latest figures showing that only 14 per cent of domestic waste went to landfill in 2004-5, compared to an average of 60 per cent across in England and Wales.

Andrew Craig, Tees Valley's waste management development officer, said: "This is a real success story, and it is the result of a determined and co-ordinated commitment by the local authorities over the last few years.

"Although most of the waste goes to the Energy from Waste plant, at Haverton Hill, the authorities have also been working hard to increase recycling and compost-making activities."

He added: "The public obviously plays a vital role in ensuring that waste can be disposed of in a clean and environmentally responsible way and, with the continued support, we expect to again dramatically reduce the amount going to landfill.

"We are now well on track to become the first group of local authorities in the country to reach the point of zero landfill."