§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 25 April,Official Report, column 322, (1) whether the incentive to which he 425W referred for waste collection authorities which recycle waste, will apply to a mechanised recycling plant receiving mixed domestic waste;
(2) what steps he proposes to take to ensure that the introduction of financial credits for waste collection authorities will be used for diverting waste from landfill, rather than as a means for funding source separation and that schemes which subsequently result in a higher percentage of waste diverted from landfill, but that do not require source separation, will not be disadvantaged by the support offered through public expenditure;
(3) what steps he proposes to take to ensure that recycling initiatives, such as financial credits from one public body to another, designed to promote source separation of waste, will not be allowed to disadvantage market-led and funded schemes for waste reclamation and recycling.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
The Government wish to encourage all environmentally beneficial and cost-effective methods of recycling domestic waste and avoiding disposal to landfill. The proposal for recycling credits, which we hope will be the subject of an amendment to be brought forward to the Environmental Protection Bill, is not intended to favour one recycling method over another. It will simply seek to ensure that the benefits of landfill avoidance feed through as financial incentives to those responsible for diverting domestic waste to recycling, whether in the public sector or not.
§ Mr. Hayward
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what encouragement is being given to local authorities that wish to increase the level of recycled waste.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
The provisions of the Environmental Protection Bill will require every local authority involved in waste collection or disposal to make plans that will give priority to the recycling of waste wherever practicable. Other provisions of the Bill will allow them to specify environmentally favourable options for waste disposal, such as recycling, even if they are not the cheapest in purely financial terms and will require waste disposal authorities to pass to collection authorities the savings that accrue because refuse has been recycled rather than passed to them for disposal. The Bill will also strengthen the existing powers of local authorities to arrange recycling schemes for their localities.
The Government are also working with local authorities to develop projects such as recycling city in Sheffield and Cardiff and similar plans in other areas which can, when fully evaluated, be used as models for future schemes. We shall be providing comprehensive advice to local authorities to assist them in the production of recycling plans and the development of recycling projects.