Skip to main content

Waste Management

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate the Government have made of the amount of (a) vermin and (b) litter in each year since 2001. (94776)

Data from the Local Environment Quality Survey of England, conducted by ENCAMS, show that there has been a steady improvement in cleansing performance over the last four years since the survey began. The following table shows how the national benchmarks for litter and detritus (combined) have improved:

Proportion of unsatisfactory sites for litter and detritus (percentage)









However, certain types of litter are on the increase. For example, fast food litter has increased over the past four years. In 2001-02 it occurred on 4 per cent. of sites surveyed, rising to 16 per cent. in 2002-03, 18 per cent. in 2003-04, and 22 per cent. in 2004-05.

The Local Environmental Quality Survey of England 2004-05 is available on the ENCAMS website at:

No estimates have been made of any change in the level of vermin. The only recent objective national survey of rat presence is within the English House Condition Survey. The 2001 survey revealed that 0.3 per cent. of properties had rats indoors and 2.9 per cent. had rats present outside.

A copy of the report can be found on the Defra website at: side/vertebrates/reports/English-house-survey-rodent-report.pdf.

Advisory leaflets are also available on the Defra website, which deal with a range of wildlife problems and ways to resolve them, including the control of rats. These can be found at: