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Waste Recycling

Volume 227: debated on Wednesday 23 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans the Government have to increase the waste recycling target to above 25 per cent. by the year 2000.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will include energy recovered from waste incineration in his Department's waste recycling targets.

The Government consider that recovering energy from waste is a legitimate means of recycling. Our current target, to recycle half of all household waste which can be recycled, relates to materials recycling and composting. However, we have said that we will re-examine the idea of setting targets for energy recovery from waste among other ways of encouraging the greater use of this option. I am currently exploring this issue with colleagues at the Department of Trade and Industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent assessment he has made as to the feasibility of achieving the target of recycling 25 per cent. of all domestic waste by the year 2000; what steps his Department is making to encourage the reaching of this target; and if he will make a statement.

The Government have funded research on a number of the factors which affect the feasibility of recycling 25 per cent. of household waste by the year 2000, including: the costs and benefits of different collection methods; technical and market barriers; and the economic framework for recycling.

Having considered those research results which are already available, we remain committed to our target. The main measures which we are taking to encourage recycling are set out in "This Common Inheritance, The Second Year Report" (Cm 2068). In particular:

  • —we have allocated £15 million in supplementary credit approvals to local authorities to encourage provision of facilities for recycling in 1993–94;
  • —we have announced our intention to increase recycling credits from 1 April 1994, so that they reflect the full economic costs of disposal;
  • —we are holding discussions with a range of industries, with a view to establishing how they might contribute to the achievement of the 25 per cent. target.