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Waste Electrical Equipment

Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that there are markets for waste electrical equipment diverted from landfill. [101691]

I have been asked to reply.Markets already exist for many of the materials arising from waste electrical equipment and there is also a wide spread reuse and refurbishment market for specific products such as mobile telephones or washing machines. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, due to be transposed next year, is likely to result in an increase in the availability of materials and components arising from WEEE although the additional tonnages will not be large relative to other sources of these materials.There will, however, be a need to encourage some new market applications where, for example, materials are contaminated or market prices are very low. The DTI will be working with Defra, WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) and business to help address this.

Information on the number of waste incinerators which are subject to planning applications determined by local planning authorities is not held centrally.Information is available, however, from the Environment Agency on the number and status of proposed new Municipal Waste Incineration Plants in England and Wales and is set out in the following table. The data are based on information shared with the Environment Agency by prospective applicants for Pollution Prevention and Control permits which are needed before a new plant starts operations. There may be other planning applications or amendments which have been submitted to local authorities on which the Agency has not been consulted. The planning status may have changed since the data were supplied.My Department does not routinely collect information on contractual arrangements for waste disposal which is the responsibility of waste disposal authorities.