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Waste-Derived Compost

Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures he is taking to improve the markets for waste-derived compost. [18127]

I am today announcing the publication of two guides which are aimed at improving the markets for waste-derived compost. The first contains practical guidance for large-scale producers of waste-derived compost, such as local authorities and the waste industry, setting out how they can design and market their product effectively to a variety of end users, particularly those in the horticulture and landscaping industries. The second guide is aimed at potential users, such as landscape architects and contractors, and explains the benefits of using waste-derived compost in their operations.One of our major environmental objectives is to promote sustainable waste management across the country. Every nine months we produce enough waste in the United Kingdom to fill lake Windermere. And of the estimated 26 million tonnes of municipal solid waste produced in 1995–96, around 85 per cent. was landfilled. It is therefore vital that, in future, we choose waste management options which preserve and enhance our environment and safeguard human health. We are therefore committed to increasing the quality and quantity of organic waste which is composted. This means a greater degree of centralised composting by local authorities and the waste management industry. But to make such schemes viable, we also need to expand the markets for waste-derived compost and thereby increase the demand for the product.We hope that these guides will make a valuable contribution to this by providing practical advice to compost producers and specifiers. They will be widely distributed free of charge to local authorities in England, waste management companies, composting organisations, landscaping architectural practices and selected landscaping contractors.Copies of the guides have been placed in the house Libraries.