HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 cc1123-4W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what investigations she has made into alternative ways of disposing of unwanted(a) hazardous and (b) nonhazardous items; and if she will make a statement. [60100]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 10 June 2002]: The EU Landfill Directive bans the landfilling of: Liquid waste. Waste which in the conditions of landfill is explosive, oxidising, corrosive, flammable or highly flammable. Chemical substances from R&D or teaching, e.g. unidentified or new laboratory residues whose effects on man or the environment are not known. Hospital and other clinical wastes arising from medical or veterinary establishments which are infectious. Whole used tyres from 2003 and shredded used tyres from 2006. Any waste that does not fulfil the waste acceptance criteria.

Some of the wastes banned from landfill are not generally landfilled at present. For those that are, research for the Department concluded that there were sufficient alternative disposal systems (in use or planned) to cope with the large volume of organic process waste streams requiring diversion from landfill. Examples given included: Pyrolysis and gasification—commissioned in some major industrial sites already. Merchant treatment plants for organic wastes offering pre-treatment, such as air stripping or pH balancing. Existing landfill leachate plant could treat a range of aqueous organic waste streams, further developments could provide a wider range of outlets for organic wastes. Some water companies are encouraging greater use of their spare capacity in aerobic and anaerobic treatment systems Solvent recovery plants have some spare capacity and are planning investment to recover useful materials from aqueous feedstock. High temperature incineration.

The report suggested additional facilities might be required for oily wastes, contaminated soils, and inorganic chemical wastes.

The Government are also working in partnership with the tyre industry through the Used Tyre Working Group (UTWG) investigating alternative disposal, recycling and recovery options for those tyres displaced from landfill with the aim of ensuring that sufficient capacity is available to handle those tyres displaced from landfill.