HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc947-9W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many and what type of composting facilities are in operation in each local authority; and if she will make a statement; [54598]

(2) which local authorities have offered home compost bins to their residents. [54585]

Mr. Meacher

This information is not collected centrally; however indications are that an increasing number of local authorities see composting in all its forms as an integral part of their waste management strategy.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if catering waste as defined in the Animal By-Products Order 1999 includes waste from domestic kitchens; and if she will make a statement. [56036]

Margaret Beckett

[holding answer 13 May 2002]: Catering waste as defined in the Animal By-Products Order 1999 includes domestic kitchen waste. Following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the order was amended in May 2001 to make it an offence to allow livestock and poultry to have access to any catering waste which contains meat or most other products of animal origin, or which originates from premises which handle

Mr. Meacher

The Environment Agency has implemented the EU Municipal Waste Incineration Directives through the Integrated Pollution Control regime by imposing emission limits which are as strict as, or stricter than, those required by these directives. In addition, the agency has imposed limits for nitrogen oxides and dioxins although they were not required by the directives, and, in general, tighter limits for heavy metals.

The agency has also issued variation notices which have:

  • reduced dioxin and metals emission limits for those plants where emissions are significantly below the current limits;
  • increased or maintained the extractive sampling frequency for the sector;
  • for those incinerators without continuous emission monitoring systems for volatile organic compounds, required them to be installed; and
  • required the operators to review the techniques for continuous dioxin monitoring.

The table summarises improvements made during the last five years at the 11 operational municipal waste incinerators, regulated by the Environment Agency, which recover energy from waste.

such products. The aim was to prevent livestock and poultry from having access to material which might introduce or spread animal diseases.

Mr. Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice and funds her Department is making available to local authorities to(a) devise and (b) implement zero waste strategies. [54159]

Mr. Meacher

"Zero waste" is a term that is used in different ways in different countries. Some use it to mean no waste to landfill; others use it to mean that no waste is sent to any form of final disposal. Some claim that in nature there is no such thing as waste; that what is waste for one species is a resource for another. They believe humans should emulate nature and build a society in which all "wastes" can be reused as resources.

This Government have not adopted a goal of zero waste, but many of the policies and actions necessary to achieve zero waste are outlined in 'Waste Strategy 20'. The challenge is to develop policies that reduce the waste we generate, while at the same time ensuring the safe disposal of wastes for which efficient re-use, recycling or recovery solutions have not yet been found.

Under the Best Value regime local authorities should set targets for waste reduction and produce Municipal Waste Management Strategies, in line with the national waste strategy, which prioritise waste minimisation wherever practicable. Each Municipal Waste Management Strategy should clearly set out the local authority's proposals for collection, treatment and disposal of waste, its plans for achieving the statutory recycling and composting targets and its proposals to meet waste reduction targets.

In March last year DETR issued guidance to local authorities on the development of Municipal Waste Management Strategies. This guidance contained a section on implementing the Waste Minimisation Act 1998 and included a case study on a waste reduction project.

The principal means for funding local authority waste management functions, including waste reduction, is through general grant. This is distributed through Standard Spending Assessments (SSAs). Waste management is within the Environmental Protection and Cultural Services (EPCS) SSA. The EPCS SSA increases over the three years of the Spending Review from 2001–02 to 2003–04 by £1.1 billion. Consistent with the general local authority financial framework, it is for individual local authorities to decide the proportion of their budget that should be directed to waste management work.

Local councils in England also have access to a £140 million household waste minimisation and recycling fund to help them meet their recycling and composting statutory targets. The Government hope the money will help move local authorities away from traditional landfill dumping in favour of recycling/recovery and as a result minimise the amount of waste generated.

Future funding for local authority waste management will be determined by the outcomes of the 2002 spending review.

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