§ Mr. Brotherton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a list of the local authorities which have contracted out to private enterprise the collection of (a) domestic refuse and (b) industrial refuse; and what steps he is taking to encourage more local authorities to adopt this course of action.
§ Mr. Fox
Industrial waste is already collected almost exclusively by the private sector.
The following local authorities* contracted out a proportion of their domestic refuse collection service during 1978–79:
Local authority % contracted out Maldon 95 Mid Bedfordshire 50 Hartlepool 23 Redditch 22 Corby 9 Malvern Hills 6 Spelthome 5 Peterborough 5 Rushcliffe 3 Chorley 2 Rugby 2 Basildon 1 Carlisle 1 Fenland 1 Kettering 1
*Based on returns from 314 of the 366 English collection authorities.
I understand that Rochford district council has decided to use private contractors for its entire refuse collection service from 1 July, and that other authorities are also considering this possibility.
I take every opportunity to encourage more authorities to give careful thought to privatisation, not necessarily as a panacea, but because it offers the possibility of improved efficiency and flexibility.