To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent by England on the collection and management of (a) household and (b) municipal waste in each year since 1997–98; and what figures she has collated on the amount spent by (i) Northern Ireland, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Wales in each of those years prior to devolution. 
The following figures show net revenue expenditure on municipal waste collection and disposal in England since 1997–98 to date, and in Scotland and Wales prior to devolution. Data are not available on the separate costs of household and municipal waste. The figures include income received in respect of charges to outside organisations. Data for Northern Ireland are not held centrally.
|Waste Collection and Disposal|
|Year||England1 (£m)||Scotland2 (£)||Wales3 (£)|
|1 1997–98 to 2001–02 outturn figures are taken from local authority returns on expenditure (R06 forms) and for 2002–03 planned expenditure (RA02 form).|
|2 Data provided by SERAD, reported by local authorities.|
|3 Data provided by NAWAD, from archive publications|
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the review commissioned by DEFRA into the environmental and health effects of waste management and disposal options will include home composting. 
The review of the health and environmental effects of waste management and disposal options will include in-vessel and windrow composting of municipal solid waste.This review will not consider home composting because the review is focussing on options for the management and disposal of municipal waste for which local authorities are responsible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the time scale is for her Department's review of the practicalities of operating variable charging schemes for waste collection. 
As set out in the Government's response to the Strategy Unit report 'Waste not, Want not', the Government will be carrying out further work before any decision is taken to enable local authorities to implement direct or variable charging for waste. The work will be carried out in co-operation with the Local Government Association and other stakeholders and will start this summer thus enabling Government to review its position on this in 2004.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the cost of introducing a zero waste strategy. 
No assessment has been made of the cost of introducing a zero waste policy. Our priority set out in Waste Strategy 2000, is to meet our obligations under the Landfill Directive to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste to 75 per cent. of 1995 levels by 2010, 50 per cent. by 2013 and 35 per cent. by 2020, using the maximum four-year derogation as necessary.Although these targets do not constitute a zero waste policy (either zero waste to landfill, or a totally closed resource cycle), they do demand substantial waste minimisation, and significantly increased levels of re-use and recycling. Waste Strategy 2000 and Government's forthcoming response to the Strategy Unit Report "Waste Not, Want Not," set out how we intend to bring this about.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the cost of introducing a zero waste strategy; and what definition the Government uses of incineration in terms of the disposal of waste. 
No assessment has been made of the cost of introducing a zero waste strategy. Government's priorities for sustainable waste management in England and Wales are set out in "Waste Strategy 2000". The Government's forthcoming response to the Strategy Unit Report "Waste Not, Want Not", will also identify further steps to be taken to-help deliver our priorities and targets.Although Waste Strategy 2000 is not a zero waste strategy (either zero waste to landfill, or a totally closed resource cycle), it does demand substantial waste minimisation, and significantly increased levels of re-use and recycling.The definition of incineration as it relates to the disposal of waste, in the glossary of terms in "Waste Strategy 2000" is as follows:
"Incineration—is the controlled burning of waste, either to reduce its volume, or its toxicity. Energy recovery from incineration can be made by utilising the calorific value of paper, plastic, etc to produce heat or power."
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what incentives local authorities can introduce to encourage the reduction of waste from domestic households. 
The Strategy Unit report "Waste not, Want not" suggested that household incentive schemes that local authorities might wish to introduce could include council tax discounts for households that home compost; provide rewards or prizes for those that recycle; provide a mixture of free services with charges for special services; or introduce variable charging schemes with a reduction in council tax.
Local authorities already have powers to introduce the first two of these suggestions. They also have powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 to charge householders for the collection of specified items of heavy and bulky waste and garden waste.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funds will be available for the Sustainable Waste Management Legacy Fund for 2003; and how much ENTRUST will receive to administer the transition fund. 
The latest estimate is that around £19 million will be distributed to eligible applicants under the LTCS Sustainable Waste Management Legacy Fund. To administer the fund, ENTRUST is receiving a fee of 2 per cent. of whatever funds are distributed (i.e. if the Fund distributes £20 million to eligible applicants, the administration fee received will be £400,000). This is the same level of payment that ENTRUST receives to regulate the LTCS itself on behalf of HM Customs and Excise and represents good value for money.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects decisions on allocating transitional funding from the Sustainable Waste Management Legacy Fund to be completed. 
The aim is to complete all outstanding work on the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme (LTCS) Sustainable Waste Management Legacy Fund, by 23 May.