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Hazardous Waste

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will list the methods of treatment and their capacity that will be available from 16 July 2004 to treat hazardous waste containing (a) high levels of mercury, (b) high levels of arsenic, (c) high levels of nickel and (d) isocyanates before landfill; [126878]

(2) if she will list the methods of treatment, and their capacity, that will be available from 16 July 2004 to treat hazardous waste arising from the manufacture, formulation, supply and use of plastics and organic waste from paints and inks before landfill. [126883]

A range of possible treatment methods exist now and in the future to deal with hazardous waste. These range from high temperature incineration and solidification to landfill. Treatment standards for wastes with high levels of mercury, arsenic and nickel and containing isocyanate will form part of the waste acceptance criteria currently being developed and on which there will be a Government consultation shortly.Similarly, hazardous waste arising from the manufacture, formulation, supply and use of plastics and organic waste from paints and inks will be subject to the requirements of the waste acceptance criteria before landfill. The nature and properties of the wastes and the requirements to meet the waste acceptance criteria influence the most appropriate treatment technique.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the hazardous waste landfill capacity that will be required from 16 July 2004. [126879]

In 2001, some 2.3 million tonnes of special waste was consigned to landfill in England and Wales, which represents some 45 per cent. of total special waste consigned.Projections for future years are affected by a range of factors, including the likely increase in costs of treatment and disposal, and the impact of this change in costs on producers efforts to minimise waste. Changes to the hazardous waste list are likely to increase the amount of hazardous waste to be consigned. These and other factors are currently being investigated in support of work on possible scenarios for the hazardous waste forum, which is due to report in the autumn. The scenarios currently envisaged suggest a range for consignable hazardous waste of between 4.3 and 7.3 million tonnes per annum over the next five years. It is likely that the proportion of this waste being consigned to landfill will decrease markedly as costs of landfill disposal increase, and treatment requirements apply, making alternative treatments more economically attractive and in some cases necessary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the permitted capacity is of landfill sites that will be classified as hazardous from 16 July 2004. [126880]

The information requested is not available centrally at the present time, but will be compiled by the Environment Agency from landfill permit applications received, and should be available in December.,

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the amount of hazardous waste produced in (a) 1999, (b) 2000, (c) 2001 and (d) 2002; and what projections her Department has made of hazardous waste produced in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2006. [126881]

Data collected by the Environment Agency on the amount of special waste consigned per annum show that for England and Wales, the following amounts were consigned:

Million tonnes
19994.9
20005.3
20015.3

Note:

Data for 2002 is not yet available.

Projections for future years are affected by a range of factors, including the likely increase in costs of treatment and disposal, and the impact of this change in costs on producers efforts to minimise waste. Changes to the hazardous waste list are likely to increase the amount of hazardous waste to be consigned. These and other factors are currently being investigated in support of work on possible scenarios for the hazardous waste forum, which is due to report in the autumn. The scenarios currently envisaged suggest a range for consignable hazardous waste of between 4.3 and 7.3 million tonnes per annum over the next five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to (1) what standards she will require hazardous waste arising from the manufacture, formulation, supply and use of plastics to be treated before landfill from 16 July 2004; and on what basis these standards have been set; [126872](2) to what standards she will require organic based waste from paints and inks to be treated before landfill from July 2004; and on what basis these standards have been set; [126873](3) to what standards she will require hazardous waste containing

(a) high levels of mercury, (b) high levels of arsenic, (c) high levels of nickel and (d) icocynates to be treated before landfill from 16 July 2004; and on what basis these standards have been set. [126874]

Under the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002, waste can only be accepted at landfill if it does not result in unacceptable emissions to groundwater, surface water, or the surrounding environment, jeopardise environment protection measures, put at risk waste stabilisation measures at the landfill or endanger human health. As from July 2004, all hazardous waste as defined in the Regulations will require treatment prior to landfill. This requirement will extend to non-hazardous waste on a date yet to be specified.When the Council Decision on Waste Acceptance Criteria is implemented, for waste to be accepted in hazardous waste landfills, separate cells in non hazardous waste landfills or in inert waste landfills, it must meet the criteria set out in the Decision. These criteria include limit values for chemical and other contaminants and for organic content. These values were drawn up by an EU Commission scientific modelling group, chaired by a scientist from the Environment Agency.We will be consulting shortly on the implementing of the Council Decision on Waste Acceptance Criteria in England and Wales. Overall, the Government is committed to reducing the UK's reliance on landfill, which makes little practical use of waste and is a missed opportunity to recover value from waste.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what environmental assessment she has made of not requiring hazardous waste arising from the manufacture, formulation, supply and use of plastics to be treated before landfill from 16 July 2004; [126875](2) what environmental assessment she has made of not requiring hazardous waste containing

(a) high levels of mercury, (b) high levels of arsenic, (c) high levels of nickel and (d) icocynates to be treated before landfill from 16 July 2004. [126882]

Under the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002, that implemented the technical and regulatory components of the Landfill Directive, all hazardous waste as defined in the Regulations will require treatment prior to landfill from July 2004.The only exception is waste for which such treatment does not contribute to the objectives of the Directive by reducing the quantity or the hazards to human health or the environment.Overall, the Government is committed to reducing the UK's reliance on landfill, which makes little practical use of waste and is a missed opportunity to recover value from waste.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of (a) municipal, (b) commercial, (c) industrial and (d) other waste was sent to exempt landfill sites in each year since 1997. [126876]

None; no general rules have been made under Article 11(1)(a) of the Waste Framework Directive which would enable a landfill site to operate under the terms of an exemption from waste management licensing. The derogation in the Landfill Directive for landfills serving islands and isolated settlements was not taken up for England because no existing sites met the criteria and any future site in these locations should meet the full requirements of the Directive.