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Recycling

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of materials collected for recycling were exported overseas in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what measures are taken to ensure that such materials are processed for recycling once they have left the country. (103245)

Accurate information is not available. All exported waste must be of a certain quality and be for recycling or reuse. It is for producers, local authorities and their waste management contractors to ensure that their waste is properly managed through all the steps in the recycling chain, including its final destination.

The Environment Agency detects and prevents the illegal export of waste at major UK ports through intelligence-led, targeted inspections. Enforcement action is taken where evidence of illegal activity is found.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information his Department has on specific problems related to recycling of waste by the school and college sector. (103636)

Under section 45 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 local authorities have a duty to collect waste from education establishments, if requested to do so, free of disposal charges. Those that use local authority waste collection services can ask to be included in the recycling service provided by the local authority. However, schools and colleges are free to make whatever arrangements they see fit for waste management. There are a number of mechanisms they can use to include recycling even where they have existing long term waste contracts that must be honoured. These include engaging community groups or even setting up their own in-house schemes. Due to the quantities of waste involved this often means they have fewer problems than others. The primary factor determining whether or not a school or college recycles is the will to do it.

Our new Waste Strategy, to be published in the new year, will emphasise the importance of recycling non-municipal as well as household waste, and set out how schools and businesses can do more.

In addition, the Waste and Resources Action Programme is currently redeveloping an existing schools programme, previously run by Waste Watch. The campaign has been revamped to link more closely with the messages of the Recycle Now campaign and increase its effectiveness.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding has been allocated for school recycling projects in England; and if he will make a statement. (103239)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 726W.