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Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 4 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any proposals to encourage and support small businesses to establish a door-to-door collection service for the recycling of metal cans; and if he will make a statement.

The Environmental Protection Bill contains a range of measures which will assist and promote the segregation of waste for recycling. Collection authorities will have a duty to draw up recycling plans and when doing so be required to liaise with all relevant organisations in their areas, including private sector companies. Waste disposal authorities will be required to pass to collection authorities the savings that accrue because refuse has been recycled rather than passed to them for disposal—and this may be passed on to benefit both voluntary groups and small businesses. Other provisions of the Bill will allow authorities to specify environmentally favourable options for waste disposal, such as recycling, even if they are not the cheapest in financial terms. Stricter controls on waste disposal by landfill and other means will increase their costs and so make recycling more attractive. The forthcoming White Paper on the environment will set out our further plans for recycling.The Government are also working with local authorities to develop projects like recycling city in Sheffield and Cardiff where segregated collection systems are being carried out on a trial basis and which can, when fully evaluated, be used as models for future practice. We shall be providing comprehensive advice to local authorities to assist them in the development of recycling projects.