HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 cc1840-1W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the latest available 12-month figures are for the proportion of the Department's redundant documentation, waste paper and card that is recycled; and if he will make a statement on the Department's recycling policy. [188690]

Charlotte Atkins

The waste handling contract for the Department's London headquarters building enables us to recycle all documentation, paper and card. Our policy aim is to recycle 100 per cent. of paper and card and we provide separate bins for such material and encourage staff to use them. In 2003–04, this resulted in the Department recycling 53 tonnes of paper, which represented 44 per cent. of total waste recycled. As we only record figures for the amount of documentation, waste paper and card that is actually recycled, we are unable to say what proportion this represents of total disposal of all such materials.

To further encourage paper recycling the Department:

  1. (a) only uses uncoated paper containing 100 per cent. post-consumer waste, and coated paper containing a minimum of 75 per cent. post-consumer waste;
  2. (b) undertakes an annual review of its stocks of printed materials and organised the pulping of any deemed to be redundant, for recycling; and
  3. (c) instituted a 'print-on-demand' facility, so that no more copies of printed materials need be produced than are forecast to be used.

The Department also manages an award-winning framework contract to procure recycled printing papers for all its printing needs. The contract let in partnership with Defra and DTI is currently used in total by 18 Departments, agencies and NDPBs, and the number is growing. The management and use of this contract by public bodies has so far:

  1. (a) diverted over 22,000 tonnes of potential landfill back into use;(b) led paper mills to develop new recycled products; and
  2. (c) contributed to improving the quality of those already on the market.

The Department in consultation with its agencies is considering how it will develop a corporate departmental sustainable waste management strategy as required under the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate. However, our already existing policy remains that as many waste streams as possible should be recycled where appropriate and possible.