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Solvent Waste

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure 100 per cent. of the solvent waste stream from the dry-cleaning industry is recycled. [112390]

None. The nature of dry cleaning operations makes it difficult to capture 100 per cent. of the various solvent waste streams for recycling. The Solvent Emissions Directive (1999/13/EC) which aims at reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents from certain activities and installations, including dry cleaning operations, does not include specific requirements to ensure that a certain amount of the solvent waste stream should be recycled. Instead it controls releases from the operation of the dry cleaning process as a whole by controlling the maximum amount of solvent that can be emitted per unit mass of cleaned garments, that is emissions of waste gases and fugitive emissions to air, soil and water and solvents contained in any products.We intend to consult separately on proposals to include requirements on the operators to ensure that waste contaminated with solvents are recycled or disposed of by waste licensed contracts. This will be in line with existing waste management regimes. There are incentives within these proposals to encourage recovery of any residual solvent contained within the waste from dry cleaning operations.