HC Deb 05 February 1957 vol 564 cc214-5
5. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of local authorities in Scotland arrange for their sewage to be treated together with household and trade refuse and made into compost; what steps are being taken to extend this practice in the interests both of economy and of public health; and what encouragement is given by his department to the use of such compost as a means of restoring fertility to the soil.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. J. Nixon Browne)

Of the 230 local authorities in Scotland, two have regular arrangements for composting sewage and household and other refuse. Where appropriate, local authorities constructing new sewage purification works are advised to consider composting, and the advisory services of the agricultural colleges in Scotland give advice on the use of such composts where they are available

Mr. Russell

Will my hon. Friend give every encouragement to local authorities to install machinery of that kind in view of the immense amount of waste of public, household and trade refuse and sewage which could be used?

Mr. Browne

It is for the local authorities to decide what best suits their own circumstances. Composting plant as an alternative to sludge digestion ranks for grant provided that the cost is roughly similar.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the hon. Gentleman call the attention of other local authorities to the successful work in Edinburgh in this connection, where valuable fertiliser has been provided for gardens from the refuse?

Mr. Browne

I will ensure that other local authorities are advised.