HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 cc248-9W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which district councils in Wiltshire have met his target for recycling(a) domestic and (b) industrial waste. [102871]

Mr. Mullin

(a) There is no recycling target which each individual local authority is expected to meet. There is a national goal to recycle or compost 25 per cent. of household waste as soon as possible, hopefully by 2005. By 2010 we hope to see 30 per cent. of household waste being recycled or composted, and in the longer term we hope to see a third of all household waste being dealt with in this way.

Under our Best Value Initiative, performance indicators are being developed for local authority waste services. From these, authorities will be expected to derive targets for their own performance on waste, having regard to any national goals we set in the forthcoming National Waste Strategy. I emphasise, though, that local targets should take account of local assessments of the Best Practicable Environmental Option, and will not therefore necessarily be at the same level as our national goals. I fully expect some authorities to put forward targets that exceed those that we propose, and others to put forward lower targets.

(b) We have no targets for the recycling of industrial waste by local authorities. Although the Environmental Protection Act 1990 gives local authorities the discretion to collect industrial waste, they are under no obligation to do so and few do.