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Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the environmental impact of transporting waste for recycling; what guidelines are issued on preferred maximum distances for such transportation; and if he will make a statement. (97485)

No specific assessment has been made. However, a report from the DEFRA-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme states that recycling in the UK saves 10 to 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year. This is equivalent to taking 3.5 million cars off the road.

In July 2005, DEFRA published the document, ‘Changes to Waste Management Decision Making Principles in Waste Strategy 2000', which put forward a number of principles on which waste decision making should be based:

(i) Individuals communities and organisations should take responsibility for their waste;

(ii) In taking decisions there should be consideration of alternative options in a systematic way;

(iii) Effective community engagement should be an important and integral part of the decision making process;

(iv) The environmental impacts for possible options should be assessed looking at both the long and short term.

These considerations are reflected in Planning Policy Statement 10 (PPS 10), published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Guidance on PPS10 was published in June this year following a series of seminars with interested parties.

The Government also encourage all local authorities to have in place a fit-for-purpose and up-to-date municipal waste management strategy to assist their waste management planning. DEFRA has produced guidance on how to prepare a waste management strategy, which is available from the DEFRA website: