HC Deb 01 February 1999 vol 324 cc470-1W
Mr. Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if he will list(a) the recycling targets and (b) the level of achievement of these targets currently being achieved by the Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority, for (i) glass (clear and green), (ii) plastics, (iii) aluminium cans, (iv) steel cans and (v) paper and cardboard; [68138]

(2) if he will list (a) the recycling targets for domestic and commercial waste and (b) the level of achievement of these targets by each of the unitary authorities in England (i) currently and (ii) five years ago; [68137]

(3) if he will list the recycling targets for (i) domestic and (ii) commercial waste achieved by (a) each of the district and borough council authorities in East and West Sussex and (b) the Brighton and Hove Unitary Authority; and if he will list the comparable figures for 1994. [68165]

Mr. Meale

When the previous Government published their White Paper "Making Waste Work" in 1995, they set a number of indicative targets for waste. One of the primary targets was to increase recycling and recovery so that they dealt with 40 per cent. of municipal waste by 2005. There was also a subsidiary target to recycle or compost 25 per cent. of household waste by 2000. These indicative targets were set for the whole of England and Wales and it is up to each individual local authority to determine their own priorities in the light of these targets.

The latest figures for municipal waste relate to 1996–97—the first year after publication of "Making Waste Work". Recycling and energy recovery of municipal waste stood at around 13 per cent., with recycling running at around 7 per cent. of household waste. No comparable figures are available for five years ago.

The Department is not able to release details of the recycling rate of an individual authority, or for individual materials within this rate, because the figures that are supplied to it for the Department's Municipal Waste Survey are done so on a confidential basis.

The Government are currently preparing a new waste strategy. The consultation paper "Less Waste: More Value" confirmed their support for the targets in "Making Waste Work", but considers that there is a need for a substantial increase in recycling and recovery, going beyond the targets set by the previous Government.

We believe that, for targets to be effective in changing behaviour towards a desired end, they have to be challenging but achievable, underpinned by a clear course of action, and capable of proper measurement and public explanation. Targets also need to be justified against the principles of good regulation: accountability, transparency, targeting, consistency, and proportionality.