HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 cc889-90W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what cost benefit analyses her Department has undertaken to identify the net effect on total(a) employment and (b) economic activity in the United Kingdom of compliance with the Landfill Directive; and what the main conclusions of such analyses were. [121212]

Mr. Morley

I have been asked to reply.

A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Landfill Directive in England and Wales was published with the Second Consultation Paper on Implementation of Council Directive (199/31/EC) on the Landfill of Waste. This is available on the Defra website (www.defra.gov.uk). A base case was established and various policy mixes were costed against that base case. The additional costs of the policy mixes that reflect the levels of recycling, composting and recovery needed to meet the waste strategy targets amounted to a range of between £3.4 billion and £7.7 billion (net present value) over the 20 year period 2000–20.

The RIA recognised that many of the potential benefits cannot be quantified but believes that a number will be of local significance where they result in a reduced impact of existing landfills. These benefits relate principally to reducing health and environmental risks and by promoting more sustainable options such as waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.

The RIA also draws attention to benefits from investment in treatment technologies and rising landfill standards that could result in new economic and employment opportunities.

As was also recognised by the Strategy Unit Report "Waste Not, Want Not", there are economic opportunities to be realised from improving the way that waste streams are managed. For example, less wasteful product design and manufacturing processes will translate directly into cost savings for business. New waste technologies and services can also provide new markets for UK businesses and generate significant revenue. If local authorities are to meet their recycling and landfill targets, for example, investment will be needed in alternative recycling/treatment facilities.

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