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Waste Management: Standards

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what savings have been achieved on each of the business resource efficiency and waste efficiency targets in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement; (143214)

(2) what the cost per tonne was for reductions made by the business resource efficiency and waste programme in (a) waste to landfill, (b) hazardous waste and (c) water; and how much carbon dioxide has been saved under the programme since its inception.

Delivery bodies conducting programmes under the wider business resource efficiency and waste programme (BREW) report on a number of environmental and business-based 'metrics' covering:


i) reduction of greenhouse gas or equivalents

ii) virgin raw materials saved

iii) reduced hazardous waste arisings

iv) decreased water usage

v) waste diverted from landfill


vi) cost savings

vii) new business sales

The metrics system was developed during the first year of the programme and is still being worked on to ensure a greater level of consistency in the methodologies used by different delivery bodies. As the methodology has not yet been perfected, the year one (2005-06) results are being viewed with caution and should only be used to give an indication of the savings being made. There are areas of the programme where the work cannot be measured against the metrics. For example, the Environment Agency work to reduce flytipping, if successful, could increase the amount of waste sent to landfill.

The aggregated results for 2005-06, for the delivery bodies which reported in-year savings against some or all of the metrics, are shown in the following table. It is important to note that there will also be savings from these interventions in future years not counted here:


In-year result

Cost per unit reduction for these in-year results (£)

Increased sales

£14.6 million


Cost savings to business

£88 million


Virgin raw material savings

682,000 tonnes


Carbon savings

87,300 tonnes of carbon1


Water savings

5,630,000 cubic metres


Waste diverted from landfill

675,000 tonnes


Hazardous waste savings

120,000 tonnes


1 For consistency, the delivery bodies that have reported in carbon dioxide have had their figures converted to carbon. Their carbon dioxide figures were multiplied by 12/44.

Work is currently underway to assess the impact of programme spending in 2006-07.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Organisation's budget was for 2005-06; and what it is planned to be in 2006-07. (143258)

DEFRA's business resource efficiency and waste (BREW) programme is returning £284 million raised from the landfill tax escalator back to businesses between 2005 and 2008 to improve their resource efficiency and to minimise the levels of waste that are unnecessarily sent to landfill.

Funds are awarded to a number of regional and national BREW delivery bodies. A total of £33 million was allocated in 2005-06 and £100.7 million was allocated in the 2006-07 financial year for spending on business resource efficiency activities in England.