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Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his policy is on the promotion of single-stream recycling by local authorities; (149721)

(2) what research he has commissioned into the take-up of recycling facilities, including door-step collection, where single-stream recycling is employed.

Decisions on the best way to collect waste and recyclables are rightly a matter for local authorities, not central government. Decisions to collect recyclables for sorting at kerbside or in a single-stream (co-mingled) for sorting at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) will depend on a range of factors, including the local housing stock, the range of materials being collected and the sorting and re-processing facilities available.

No research has been commissioned by my Department on the take-up of recycling facilities where co-mingled recyclable collection is employed. Assessments on the uptake of local recycling facilities would normally be undertaken by individual local councils.

WRAP will be undertaking a study into the cost and performance of different kerbside collection schemes later in the year and they are planning for that study to investigate several of these issues.

Household waste recycling/composting has doubled in the last four years to reach 27 per cent. in 2005-06, which exceeds the Waste Strategy 2000 target of 25 per cent. This excellent progress is thanks to the commitment and hard work of the vast majority of local authorities, ever more enthusiastic householders and carefully targeted Government support.