§ Mr. Thomason
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what encouragement he is giving to alternative methods of municipal waste disposal, other than landfill.
§ Mr. Yeo
The Government's policy is to set in place the necessary regulatory and economic framework to ensure that waste disposal operations do not lead to pollution of the environment or harm to human health. Within this framework, the Government believe that the market should generally decide the disposal option for particular waste types.
The Royal Commission on environmental pollution recently recommended the introduction of a levy on waste going to landfill to reflect the full environmental cost of this form of waste disposal. We are currently considering this recommendation, along with other proposals for changing the economic framework for waste disposal.
The Government are keen to promote the development of schemes which derive energy from waste. The non-fossil fuel obligation provides the initial stimulus for such schemes. We also have programmes of work under way to improve composting techniques and to investigate markets for composts.