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Waste Management: Private Finance Initiative

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the inclusion of (a) incineration and (b) recycling facilities in projects undertaken as part of his Department's waste private finance initiative funding scheme; and if he will make a statement. (202946)

Local authorities are best placed and responsible for deciding the most appropriate waste management facilities for their areas. Recovering energy from waste is a sustainable option for residual waste that would otherwise go to landfill. It is important that plans for energy from waste facilities emerge out of local waste strategies, so that all options for reuse, recycling and composting can be explored first.

The Government wish to encourage local authorities to consider using anaerobic digestion. Other than this, we do not generally think it appropriate to express a preference for one technology over another. Any given technology is (where applicable) more beneficial if both heat and electricity can be recovered. Particular attention should therefore be given to the siting of plant to maximise opportunities for Combined Heat and Power.

The current Waste Private Finance Initiative (PFI) criteria were issued in May 2006. Projects must meet these criteria in order to be considered for PFI credits. The criteria aim to ensure that PFI credits are allotted to projects that are value for money and enable the investment in residual waste infrastructure necessary if the demanding targets in the Landfill Directive and Waste Strategy for England 2007 are to be met.

The following criteria are included:

2. PFI credits are awarded to authorities primarily to deliver increased diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. Proposals should demonstrate how the schemes:

contribute to or complement longer-term national targets for recycling and composting as well as diversion of biodegradable and other municipal waste from landfill, indicating the amount of biodegradable and other municipal waste expected to be diverted from landfill over the whole life of the project;

support or complement the authorities' plans for recycling set out in their Municipal Waste Management Strategies.

5. The use of residual waste treatment options involving recovery, including energy from waste solutions, will have an integral role in treating the waste we cannot 'design out', re-use or recycle. Such options should be considered while also demonstrating that there is no future barrier to meeting reduction, reuse and recycling targets.

6. Proposals should demonstrate that other relevant authorities, the public, and interested parties have been consulted and that there is a broad consensus supporting a recognised long term waste management strategy which is reflected in the proposed solution.

10. Preferential consideration will be given to capital projects which focus on residual treatment plant only, including, but not limited to, Energy from Waste, Mechanical Biological Treatments and Anaerobic Digestion. The full criteria are available on the DEFRA website.