§ Sue Doughty
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of waste produced in his Department was(a) recycled, (b) composted, and (c) re-used, broken down into (i) paper, (ii) plastics, (iii) aluminium cans and (iv) other in each year since 1997; what plans there are to increase these proportions; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Maria Eagle
The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001. In 2001, the former Department of Social Security produced 24,000 tonnes of waste, of which 37 per cent. was recycled. The vast majority of recycled waste was paper. No waste was composted. Details are not available prior to 2001.
For 2002, figures show that paper recycling has risen to 55 per cent. of the total waste produced, amounting to 16,172 tonnes. We plan to extend our paper-recycling scheme across the whole Department in the coming year.
Redundant office furniture is recycled by DWP's estates partners wherever possible. Metal components are reused and desktops are pulped and recycled where possible. Volume figures are not available for this.
Surplus IT equipment is refurbished and reused wherever possible. This is facilitated by the Disposal Service Agency, and the refurbished equipment is then distributed through the Computers Within Reach initiative.
DWP as a whole does not currently separate plastics and aluminium cans from the general waste stream, although local schemes to recycle waste are encouraged and are in place at a number of locations. We plan to examine the potential for a national scheme to recycle these waste streams.
In addition to the recycling initiatives in place, staff are also actively encouraged to reduce the amount of waste that they generate.
§ Sue Doughty
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of(a) paper and (b) other goods purchased by his Department was recycled paper in each year since 1997; what the annual total cost of these purchases was; what plans there are to increase these proportions; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Maria Eagle
2.12 per cent. of the 1,824,682 reams of paper purchased by DWP in 2001–02 was recycled paper. Of this 1,330,392 reams were purchased from the joint OGC/DWP contract at a cost of £4,913,629. Costs for the remaining 494,290 reams are not available.
In 2001–02 DWP also purchased 8,434 tonnes of preprinted paper (leaflets and forms), of which 16 per cent. was recycled. 721 tonnes of card and board were also purchased of which 68 per cent. was recycled. Costs are not currently available.
Information is not available prior to 2001–02.
We are currently reviewing the measures we have in place to reduce the overall amount of paper used within the Department at the same time as increasing the percentage of recycled paper used.