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Waste Recycling

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what methods other than source separation of waste would enable his Department to achieve its target of 50 per cent. domestic waste recycling by the year 2000.

[holding answer 24 May 1990]: The 50 per cent. recycling target can be achieved only by joint action by all those involved in recycling: first, by manufacturers using recycled materials and designing recyclability into their products, cutting down on the amount of unnecessary packaging and pricing recycled products competitively; secondly, by consumers knowing about and choosing recycled products and making use of recycling facilities provided by local authorities, retailers and voluntary groups; thirdly, by local authorities and retailers substantially increasing their commitment to providing recycling facilities so that the majority come up to the standard of the best; and, fourthly, by the Government setting the right waste management framework through legislation so that the real costs of alternative disposal methods are apparent and the benefits of recycling accrue to those who bring it about, co-operating with efforts to inform the public about the benefits of recycling, and bringing forward other measures such as encouraging public sector purchasing of recycled materials and promoting relevant research and monitoring studies.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation giving equal status and support to authorities when looking at the options of (a) source separation and (b) mechanised separation.

[holding answer 24 May 1990]: The Government do not intend at present to legislate for or against any method of domestic waste separation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has held talks with any other organisations or authorities in relation to funding, directly or indirectly, the creation of a source separation infrastructure; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 24 May 1990]: Ministers in the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment have received advice and information about domestic waste collection and sorting methods from a wide range of sources including the advisory group on recycling, interested local authorities, voluntary groups and trade associations, and have had discussions from time to time about a number of matters relating to recycling and waste management, including the possible means of funding and managing different waste separation systems.