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Waste Disposal: Small Businesses

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the proportion of the total waste stream attributable to small and medium-sized enterprises in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (191241)

[holding answer 3 March 2008]: DEFRA does not hold data on the proportion of the waste stream attributable to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The most recent survey on industrial and commercial waste was carried out in 2002-03 by the Environment Agency. Information was collected from approximately 4,500 businesses and included the type, quantity and form of the waste, as well as the disposal or recovery method used. Data collection was limited to controlled waste and related to England only. Results for commercial waste from this survey show an estimated total tonnage of nearly 68 million tonnes. An unpublished analysis of the size of enterprise shows that, where employee size was known, around 15 per cent. of commercial waste was produced by those with fewer than 10 employees and around 37 per cent. was produced by enterprises with 10 or more, but fewer than 100 employees.

Further information is available, broken down by region, from the Environment Agency’s website.