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Waste Disposal: Domestic Wastes

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has made of the number of waste collection authorities in England that use (i) sacks and (ii) wheelie bins for collecting residual household waste; (176540)

(2) what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste Resources Action Programme has given to local authorities on the use of barcodes on receptacles for household rubbish;

(3) what procurement guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste Resources Action Programme has produced for local authorities, on the purchase of receptacles for the collection of household rubbish.

No estimate has been made by my Department or by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on the receptacles used by waste collection authorities in England to collect residual household waste. Decisions on the best way to collect waste are a matter for local authorities, not central Government.

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 empowers local authorities to specify the number, size, construction and maintenance of their waste receptacles, what can be placed in each, and also where and when they should be placed for collection.

WRAP provides general guidance and support to local authorities on their waste collection services and procurement. However, neither WRAP nor DEFRA has issued specific procurement guidance on the purchase of receptacles for household waste or the use of barcodes on receptacles for household rubbish.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste Resources Action Programme has given to local authorities on whether the disposing of domestic rubbish in a municipal litter bin constitutes an offence. (176543)

Neither DEFRA nor the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have produced guidance on the legality of disposing of household waste in municipal litter bins.

There is a range of powers available to local authorities to ensure waste is dealt with legitimately. The Government encourage authorities to make good use of the powers available to them, taking account of local circumstances and priorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which waste collection authorities in England, according to records held by (a) his Department and (b) the Waste Resources Action Programme, have (i) no side waste collection policies and (ii) closed lid collection policies with regard to the collection of household waste. (176545)

Neither my Department nor the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) hold the records requested.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to allow charges for householders using civic amenity sites to dispose of household residual waste. (176566)

The Government have no plans to allow charges for householders using civic amenity sites to dispose of household residual waste.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fixed penalties were issued for (a) putting domestic rubbish in the wrong container, (b) leaving domestic rubbish out on the wrong day and (c) overfilling a wheelie bin with domestic rubbish in the last year for which figures are available. (176567)

DEFRA does not hold the information requested. Data provided by each local authority in England includes details of the number of fixed penalty notices issued in respect of waste receptacle-related offences generally. These figures are not broken down further into specific types of offence.

Data for 2006-07 (the most recent available) are available from DEFRA's website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research and statistical data gathering has been conducted by the Waste Resources Action Programme into the proportion and volume of household rubbish collected for recycling that is not recycled. (176583)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has conducted no research or statistical data gathering into the proportion and volume of household rubbish collected for recycling that is not recycled Though data collection has improved significantly in recent years, there is currently no available data to show how big the discrepancy is between waste being accepted at a recycling plant and that amount actually being recycled. DEFRA estimates the gap to be small.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the additional revenue to be raised from new bin taxes on family homes. (176589)

No additional revenue will be raised from waste incentive schemes because local authorities must return any revenue they raise to residents, through rebates for those producing low levels of waste.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which waste collection authorities have expressed an interest in taking part in the pilots for the new proposed household rubbish collection tax. (177154)

[holding answer 9 January 2008]: My Department is currently considering the appropriate process for waste collection authorities to express an interest in running a pilot waste incentive scheme. Timings for this process will be subject to parliamentary progress on the Climate Change Bill. In the meantime, we continue to encourage and welcome authorities making enquiries on the implications of the legislation.