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Community Composting

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on community composting; and what plans she has to expand it; take-up. [130592]

The Government recognise the valuable role that community composting groups can play in delivering more sustainable waste management.We are taking various measures (that do not relate to community groups alone) to increase the amount of waste that is composted. For example, we have set targets to increase the level of recycling and composting of household waste to 17 per cent. by 2003–04 and 25 per cent. by 2005–06. We are primarily looking to local authorities, as the statutory waste collection and disposal authorities, to deliver these targets. Some authorities are working with community groups to do this and the Government encourage this partnership-working.We are also supporting the Composting Association with a grant of £272,000 over three years to raise awareness and increase the understanding of composting and uses of composts.In addition, funding of £35.2 million is available until September 2006 specifically for community waste schemes in England under the New Opportunities Fund's Community Recycling and Economic Development Programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research projects are being supported by her Department in the area of community composting; and what discussions she has had with representatives of the waste industry on the subject of community composting. [130593]

I am not aware of any research projects currently being funded by Defra specifically concerning community composting. However, Defra does fund some community composting projects through the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund. Under the category of community initiatives, the fund is supporting two projects with composting elements.Defra is also providing funds of £12.2 million over the next three years to the Waste and Resource Action Programme to stimulate markets for composted products. A proportion of these funds will be used for research projects, some of which may be of relevance to community composting groups.The Government hold regular discussions on a number of topics with representatives of the waste industry.