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Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures the Government have taken to encourage local authorities to recycle commercial waste; and if he will make a statement. (104090)

Action to encourage recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill is driven by regional and local strategies and supported by nationally funded programmes.

Waste Strategy 2000 set a target to reduce the amount of commercial and industrial waste going to landfill to 85 per cent. of that landfilled in 1998, by 2005. On the basis of the latest figures, from 2002, we expect to have met this target.

Businesses already have a strong financial incentive to reuse or recycle their waste, and the continued increase in the rate of Landfill Tax (rising by 3 per tonne per year from 2005-06, until it reaches 35 per tonne in the medium to long term) is another important instrument in reducing our reliance on landfill and moving to more sustainable waste management options.

Revenue from the landfill tax escalator is in turn being recycled to businesses through the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme, which is returning £284 million to businesses over three years through resource efficiency and waste minimisation programmes, providing support and advice to businesses that wish to improve their resource efficiency.

In 2006-07, BREW has been funding a pilot project to create a BREW Centre for local authorities, based at Oxfordshire County Council, which provides information, guidance, advice and good practice examples on how local authorities can support local business on resource efficiency and waste management.

The Review of England’s Waste Strategy consultation document (published in February this year) asked for views on the proposed wider strategic role for local authorities on business waste and resources and on whether there should be new requirements for recycling of commercial waste on local authorities and/or business. In light of the consultation responses and progress of the BREW pilot mentioned, we are developing proposals on the role of local authorities in commercial waste. We are aiming to publish the revised Waste Strategy in the new year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will provide Shrewsbury borough council with funding to provide extra recycling facilities. (104299)

Under the Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant (WPEG), Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council have been awarded £190,897.77 over the three year period from 2005 to 2008; £30,104.64 in 2005-06, £78,533.31 in 2006-07 and £82,259.82 in 2007-08. The WPEG is a targeted grant which aims to help increase recycling and the diversion of waste from landfill. The funding stream will ensure a joined-up approach to delivering additional funding from central government to local authorities for improved recycling and composting services. The WPEG is an un-ring fenced grant—how the funds are managed is the responsibility of each individual authority and no audit on use of the funds will take place.

A breakdown of funding awarded to the Council since 2002 to help improve recycling performance is shown in the following table:


Award (£)

Scheme description

Start date

End date

National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund (Round 1)


Collection of paper from schools for recycling

1 April 2002

31 March 2003

Local Authority Support Unit Direct Consultancy Support


Shropshire Strategy Review/Increasing Commercial Waste Recycling

1 April 2004

31 March 2005

Local Authority Support Unit Direct Consultancy Support


Bulky Waste Collection Study

1 April 2004

31 March 2005

Local Authority Support Unit Direct Consultancy Support


Joint MWMS Review and Sustainability Appraisal

1 April 2005

31 March 2006

Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant


Capital: £16,933.86 Revenue: £13,170.78

1 April 2005

31 March 2006

Decisions on the Grant allocations for 2008-09 and beyond will be considered in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.