HC Deb 25 January 1994 vol 236 cc129-31W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what quantities of waste have been exported annually from the United Kingdom since 1988 to non-OECD countries for(a) disposal and (b) recovery or recycling;

(2) if the Government intend to support a total ban on the export of all toxic waste to non-OECD countries at the forthcoming Basel convention meeting in March;

(3) if he will place in the Library the information supplied by the United Kingdom to the European Commission as its contribution to the review of waste exports for recovery, as requested at the Environment Council meeting in March 1993;

(4) which local and national authorities (a) were responsible for determining whether the United Kingdom waste exported to the Brazilian company Produquimica in August 1993 was a controlled waste and (b) are now responsible for the management of the waste subsequently returned to the United Kingdom recently;

(5) what measures he has taken or intends to take to ensure that wastes exported to non-OECD countries for the purposes of recycling and recovery are handled in an environmentally sound manner.

Mr. Atkins

[holding answer 24 January 1994]: My Department has no record under the Transfrontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste Regulations 1988 of any exports since 1988 of hazardous waste to non-OECD countries for disposal. A total of 16,300 tonnes of hazardous red and amber list waste were exported to non-OECD countries for recovery or recycling in 1991. Information for 1992 is as follows. Information for earlier years has not been analysed and would be available only at disproportionate cost.

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnor (Mr. Evans) on 12 January at columns 200–201.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 18 January, at column 567. I understand that no documentation was submitted to the competent authorities under the Transfrontier Shipment of Hazardous Waste Regulations 1988 prior to the export of this material by London Metals Ltd. to the Produquimica Co. in Brazil. Humberside county council is aware that the material is being transported to a storage facility in its area.

The following information was supplied to the European Commission:

United Kingdom exports of hazardous recoverable red and amber list waste to non-OECD countries 1992
Country Tonnes
Thailand 2,371
South Africa 1,393
South Korea 1,160
Dubai 925
India 748
Israel 269
Libya 187
Singapore 134
Burma 127
Taiwan 111
Qatar 103
Bolivia 102
Pakistan 99
Indonesia 73
Egypt 71
United Arab Emirates 62
Malta 60
Saudi Arabia 45
Abu Dhabi 40
Mexico 39
Brunei 22
Malaysia 21
Zambia 12
Ecuador 8
CIS (former Soviet Union) 7
Ghana 3
Sri Lanka 2
Venezuela 1
China 1

Note: Figures rounded.

Source of information: United Kingdom Customs and Excise

Department—May 1993.