HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc867-8
5. Sir R. Russell

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that much scrap metal, in the form of old bedsteads, bath tubs, bicycles, perambulators, broken toys and other things, is to be found under hedges and in streams and ditches close to urban areas in many parts of the country; and if he will seek power to encourage the recovery of this metal.

Mr. MacColl

This material probably costs more to recover than it is worth as scrap. But my right hon. Friend welcomes action by local authorities to deal with the dumping of rubbish as recommended in the Department's Circular No. 15/60, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member.

Sir R. Russell

Does not the Minister agree that this is a colossal waste of material, even if collection is expensive? Will he also add motors cars to the list? They have been discovered in great abundance since I tabled this Question. Will he encourage local authorities to do something about the matter, rather than merely to write letters?

Mr. MacColl

We had an interesting discussion of this matter on an Adjournment Motion moved by the hon. Member for Hexham (Sir R. Speir) a few weeks ago. I would commend to the hon. Member the discussion that took place on that Motion if he wants more information as to what can be done. I agree that the more local authorities improve their cleansing services the easier it will be to prevent this abuse of roads by the deposit of refuse.

Mr. Lipton

Would it not help if my hon. Friend circularised local authorities, some of whom are very choosy about the refuse that they collect from private houses? Would it not help if either local authorities or the refuse collectors employed by them were given definite instructions to remove all household refuse from the houses from which they collect?

Mr. MacColl

We are hoping soon to issue a circular on the disposal of old motor vehicles. On the more general question, at the moment there is a Departmental working party on refuse collection. When it has completed its inquiries we hope to get in touch further with local authorities on the matter.

Mr. Corfield

In the light of experience, will the hon. Member consider whether it would be right to extend the provisions of the Litter Act so that it covers the leaving of litter on private as well as public properties?

Mr. MacColl

That would require legislation, of which I do not see much hope in the near future.