By Damian Carrington

Storms and rising sea levels could break up old rubbish dumps in England and Wales releasing potentially toxic waste, study shows

Over 1,000 old landfill sites on the coasts of England and Wales are at increasing risk of being breached by erosion, according to a new study, posing a serious pollution danger to wildlife and bathing waters.

Landfill sites before the mid-1990s had few or no restrictions about what rubbish could be dumped in them and little is known about what they contain. But many were on the coast and some were used to raise land levels and even as part of flood defences. Climate change is bringing higher sea levels and stronger storms, putting the old dumps at greater risk of being broken up.