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Recycling: School Waste

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of school waste was recycled in 2005-06; and what plans he has to encourage schools to recycle more waste in 2007-08. (112348)

[holding answer 30 January 2007]: Waste from schools is classed as household waste. 26.7 per cent. of household waste was recycled or composted in 2005-06.

Waste Strategy 2000 set targets for the management of household and municipal waste. These included 2005, 2010 and 2015 targets for the recycling and composting of household waste (25 per cent., 30 per cent. and 33 per cent.) and for the recovery of municipal waste (40 per cent., 45 per cent. and 67 per cent). The waste strategy review consultation document, published in February 2006, proposed new targets for 2010, 2015 and 2020 for the recycling and composting of household waste (40 per cent., 45 per cent. and 50 per cent.) and municipal waste recovery (53 per cent., 67 per cent. and 75 per cent.). We intend to publish the revised waste strategy in the spring.

The Department for Education and Skills recently held a consultation on a sustainable schools strategy and DEFRA will be working with DfES and other partners, including the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), following the consultation to help schools minimise, reuse, recycle and compost their waste. It is our intention as part of this work to issue guidance to schools to include issues around the definition of waste from schools and ‘top 10 tips’.

In addition, WRAP is currently developing a schools programme as part of its successful Recycle Now communications campaign. The aim of the programme is to change recycling behaviour at home and at school. The programme includes:

A training programme aimed at providing local authority waste and recycling officers with the knowledge and skills to implement effective recycling schemes in schools.

Research into resources for schools, including the development of a database of resources on the subject of waste and recycling.

Research with secondary school teachers and senior managers to inform WRAP’s secondary schools strategy.

A primary schools programme to communicate the “3 Rs” message of reduce, reuse, and recycle and give pupils examples of how to put the “3 Rs” into practice at home and school.