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Waste Management

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs how much hazardous waste was sent to landfills in (a) 1999, (b) 2000, (c) 2001 and (d) 2002; and what predictions have been made by (i) the Department and (ii) the Environment Agency on the quantities of hazardous waste that will be sent in (A) 2005, (B) 2006, (C) 2007, (D) 2008 and (E) 2009 to landfill sites that will be classified as hazardous from 16 July 2004. [124723]

The amount of hazardous wastes that have been disposed of in landfill in England and Wales for the years listed are as follows:

Year of disposalSpecial waste tolandfill (thousand tonnes)
1998–9912,342
20002,054
20012,332
2002n/a
1 Financial year
Data for 2002 are not yet available.

The amount of hazardous waste sent to landfill in future years is affected by a number of factors, and it is difficult to predict the relative impact of these factors with any accuracy. The factors include the clear likelihood that the number of hazardous waste landfills after July 2004 will reduce significantly as a result of requirements in the Landfill Directive. The directive requirements, including the ending of co-disposal in July 2004, the requirements of the waste acceptance criteria, and the need for pre-treatment before wastes are landfilled will also increase the cost of disposal of hazardous waste, which in turn is likely to provide a greater incentive for the reduction of the amount and hazardousness of waste at source. Set against these factors are the impacts of changes to the European hazardous waste list adopted in January 2002 which introduce a number of new waste streams as hazardous.

The Government have established a Hazardous Waste Forum for all relevant stakeholders to discuss these issues and those relating to the provision of treatment capacity for hazardous waste. To that end, the forum has established two sub groups to urgently consider (i) the effects of changes in legislation on producers, the scope for further waste prevention and minimisation and the consequent effect on hazardous waste arisings, and, (ii) treatment options and capacity. A third sub-group will build on this work to produce an advisory document in the autumn.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps (a) her Department and (b) the Environment Agency have taken to establish that financial provision as required by Articles 8 and 10 of the Landfill Directive will be available for all landfill sites that receive a Planning and Pollution Control Permit; [124724](2) what estimates

(a) her Department and (b) the Environment Agency have made of the cost of implementing Articles 8 and 10 of the Landfill Directive; [124725]

(3) what meetings she has had with representatives of the waste management industry to discuss Articles 8 and 10 of the Landfill Directive; [124726]

(4) when her Department will implement Articles 8 and 10 of the Landfill Directive. [124727]

The technical and regulatory requirements of the Landfill Directive, including the provisions of Articles 8 and 10, were implemented by the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002. Ensuring that financial provision is available is a requirement on the landfill operator. The Environment Agency sets out a range of mechanisms that it considers to be adequate to meet the financial provisions requirement in its Waste Management Licensing Financial Provision Manual. Landfill operators due to be re-permitted under the terms of the Landfill Directive were informed of this position in November 2002.Discussions are taking place between the Government, the Environment Agency and the industry about how the requirement of Article 8 of the directive might best be satisfied given the various aims of the Landfill Directive and the particular need to ensure appropriate safeguards against insolvent operators are in place. We have not yet made an assessment of the costs as this is dependent on the outcome of these discussions.In the meantime, the Environment Agency did commission work on the long-term liability that landfills pose to England and Wales. Part of this work, carried out by AEA Netcen, calculated that the net present value of landfill liabilities (ie the closure and aftercare costs of completed landfills) up to 2020 would be between £3-£3.5 billion.Article 10 of the directive is concerned with passing on the full costs of landfill to waste producers. To meet this, the regulations place a requirement on the operator of a landfill. This makes it a condition of the permit issued for the landfill, that the charges the operator makes for the disposal of waste at the landfill covers a number of aspects. These include the setting up and operating of the landfill, the costs of the financial provision and the estimated cost for the closure and aftercare of the landfill for a period of at least 30 years from its closure. Passing the full cost to the waste producer upholds the `polluter pays' principle.Officials have met the industry at regular intervals to discuss these and other issues and will continue to do so. I met the Chief Executive of the Environment Services Association shortly after my appointment to this post. I understand my predecessor met representatives of the waste management industry on frequent occasions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what responsibilities her Department has allocated to the Waste Resources and Action Programme regarding private finance initiative for waste management contracts. [124729]

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have currently been allocated no specific responsibilities regarding private finance initiative for waste management contracts. They do, however, have a wide ranging interest in local authority procurement and how this takes account of markets for recycle and waste minimisation. As part of this, WRAP are jointly sponsoring a "toolkit" project that seeks to capture best procurement practices that have been used in past private finance initiative schemes for possible use in future schemes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's forthcoming report into the environmental and health impacts of waste management methods; if she will list the (a) individuals, (b) agencies and (c) industry groups consulted as part of the compilation of the report; when the report will be published; and if she will make a statement. [126692]

£ million
Organisation1998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–042004–052005–06
Defra0.190.240.160.160.18
Defra—Waste Implementation Programme555
Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)6.79
Environment Agency1.241.481.23

The Review of the Health and Environmental Impacts of Waste Management is being conducted by a team led by Enviros, who carried out work of a similar nature for the Strategy Unit report "Waste not, Want not", and Professor Roy Harrison of Birmingham University. Full details of the methodology and sources consulted will be published as. part of the report.The output of the review is currently undergoing the first phase of peer review, which is being carried out by the Royal Society. The final report is due to be published in the autumn.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of recycling targets on (a) local authority waste strategies and (b) the collection of green waste. [126716]

No assessment has been made to date of the impact of the statutory recycling targets on either local authority waste strategies or the collection of green waste.Under DEFRA's Waste Implementation Programme a Local Authority Support Team has been set up to support local authorities. As part of its work, the Team is reviewing Municipal Waste Strategies, Waste Local Plans, Regional Waste Strategies arid emerging Spatial Strategies. It is intended that the Team will then give Local Authorities useful feedback on any elements within the waste strategies which might suggest that they will not reach their statutory recycling targets and on ways of addressing such problems.The number of households with a green waste collection rose from 1.6 million in 2000–01 to 3.1 million in 2001–02. The percentages of waste collection or unitary authorities collecting some green waste similarly rose from 17 per cent. in 2000–01 in 2002–03. We believe that the establishment of recycling targets will have been a contributing factor in bringing about this increase.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was given in grants by her Department for research and development relating to waste management in each year between 1998 and 2002; and how much is allocated for such research in each year from 2003 to 2005. [126877]

The Department funds research into waste directly, and indirectly through a number of bodies such as its NDPBs. Funding is shown in the following table.Defra's new Waste Implementation Programme team funding will be allocated to projects in accordance with a three year strategy, which will be drawn up following a review of existing research provision and the identification of future research requirements, supervised by a new Information Advisory Group chaired by Defra and including key non-Defra stakeholders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by what percentage waste produced in the UK has changed in each of the last five years. [125572]

Milliontonnes
1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–02
Municipal waste arisings25.726.327.428.128.8
Annual percentage increase4.62.54.12.52.6
Household waste arisings23.323.624.725.125.6
Annual percentage increase3.51.14.91.61.8