HC Deb 27 February 1996 vol 272 c456W
Dr. Twinn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the level of recycling credits to be paid by waste disposal authorities following the introduction of the landfill tax. [17923]

Mr. Clappison

Statutory payments, which are made by waste disposal and waste collection authorities to those who recycle waste, are commonly known as "recycling credits". These payments are made under section 52 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and associated regulations.

Payments of credits are intended to reflect savings in the costs of waste collection and disposal which benefit collection and disposal authorities, as a direct result of the activities of recyclers. In particular, disposal credits, which are paid by waste disposal authorities, represent the net saving of expenditure on the disposal of waste, which arises because the waste has been recycled.

Provisions to introduce the proposed landfill tax are contained in the Finance Bill, which is currently before Parliament. The aim of the new tax is to increase the cost of landfill disposal of waste, reflecting its environmental impact. This will make alternative waste management practices, such as recycling, more economic. The landfill tax supports the objectives set out in our White Paper on waste, "Making Waste Work".

Waste disposal authorities should take their own legal advice if they are in doubt as to their position, as the interpretation of legislation is ultimately a matter for the courts. However, it is the aim of the recycling credits legislation that all expenditure on the disposal of waste should be included in the calculation of disposal credits. The amounts of disposal credits should therefore be increased to reflect the introduction, subject to parliamentary approval, of the landfill tax, where landfill is the most expensive disposal method as defined by the regulations.