HC Deb 06 November 2001 vol 374 cc106-7
44. Ms Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent, North)

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what his targets are for the recycling of paper on the parliamentary estate. [10354]

Mr. Archy Kirkwood (on behalf of the House of Commons Commission)

The House authorities follow the Government targets of 40 per cent. recovery of waste, with 25 per cent. of that being recycled. We currently exceed those targets, with 100 per cent. of waste recovered. In the current financial year, we expect 50 per cent. of that to be recycled.

Ms Walley

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply, but I have long supported genuinely effective paper recycling at the House of Commons. Approximately six years ago, some mysterious brown paper bags became available in our offices. There were rumours that they were going straight to landfill or incineration, and not for recycling. How does the hon. Gentleman monitor recycling here? It is crucial that the House set an example of "do as we do" rather than "do as we say". We need to implement our commitment.

Mr. Kirkwood

The hon. Lady is right and makes a valid point. We have not properly considered the disposal of paper in the past. In the current financial year, we have started to disaggregate the amount of paper that we collect. I believe that paper constituted 30 per cent. of the total waste material recovered last year. However, I cannot tell the hon. Lady the exact proportion of recycled paper. I take her point to heart, and I shall ensure that the disposal of parliamentary rubbish is put on the agenda of the appropriate Committee at the earliest opportunity.

The President of the Council was asked—