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Waste Disposal (Energy)

Volume 76: debated on Monday 1 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what action he proposes to help develop energy from waste schemes in those local authorities where disposal costs for landfill are higher than the cost of mass incineration with heat and electricity recovery or refuse-derived fuel production;(2) what steps his Department is taking to define investment opportunities involving private sector finance for local authority waste into energy recovery schemes.

Guidance for local authorities and others on waste disposal options including incineration and the production of waste derived fuel is contained in my Department's publication "Mechanised Household Waste Sorting in the United Kingdom — A General Guide" published by HMSO in 1984; a copy is in the Library of the House of Commons. This document includes information on waste disposal options currently in use; costs and financing; opportunities for the private sector; and marketing of products.

My Department will shortly be publishing a report of the landfill practices review group which will include advice on the control, extraction and distribution of landfill gas as an energy source. We are continuing to support research and development into the recovery of energy from waste.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department collates case study information on schemes in other countries which convert waste into energy.

My Department has acquired information from various sources on some of the schemes used for recovering energy from waste in other countries. The Department of Energy also has a certain amount of similar information. However, a more comprehensive collection of such data is held by the Harwell waste management information bureau which is partly funded by my Department.