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Waste Disposal

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his most recent estimate is of the weight of (a) glass, (b) paper, (c) aluminium, (d) steel, (e) plastics and (f) wood thrown away by (i) households and (ii) businesses in England in a year; and if he will make a statement; (124072)

(2) if he will estimate the difference in the amount of (a) energy and (b) water consumed for every tonne of (i) glass, (ii) paper, (iii) aluminium, (iv) steel, (v) plastics and (vi) wood that is produced from recycled rather than new material; and what proportion the energy used to produce each from recycled materials represents as a proportion of the energy used for producing them from new material;

(3) what his most recent estimate is of the amount in tonnes of waste diverted from landfill through the recycling of (a) glass, (b) paper, (c) aluminium, (d) steel, (e) plastics and (f) wood in a year.

Analysis of the composition of the household waste stream was undertaken by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in 2002. These estimates have been applied to the total household waste arisings in 2005-06 for WasteDataFlow as follows:

Tonnes (000)

Glass

1,741

Paper and card

4,704

Metal cans and foil

662

Scrap metal and white goods

1,145

Plastics

1,802

Wood

1,056

Aluminium and steel were not separately identified in the compositional analysis.

Estimates of total commercial and industrial waste are available from the Environment Agency's (EA) Commercial and Industrial Waste Survey 2002-03, copies of which I am placing in the House Libraries.

The amount of waste from household sources that was sent for recycling in 2005-06 by material type is shown in the following table:

Tonnes (000)

Glass

760

Paper and card

1,475

Cans

74

Scrap metal and white goods

532

Plastics

38

Source: WasteDataFlow

Estimates of commercial waste materials recycled are available from the EA's Commercial and Industrial Waste Survey 2002-03, copies of which I have placed in the Libraries of the House.

A Defra commissioned research study conducted by ERM in association with Golder Associates entitled “Carbon Balances and Energy Impacts of the Management of UK Wastes” will be published on the Defra website shortly. This peer reviewed study report details a macro-level investigation of the carbon flows, energy and greenhouse gas benefits and impacts associated with alternative management routes for the predominant waste materials arising in the UK. The research examines the scale of benefits and impacts resulting from different process and recovery routes, traces carbon flows through alternative systems and identifies the most significant wastes and management methods.