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NHS: Recycling

Volume 477: debated on Monday 16 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS trusts have recycling strategies; and if he will make a statement; (207168)

(2) whether he plans to review the health technical memorandum on managing waste; and if he will make a statement.

The Department produced the sustainable development: environmental strategy for the NHS in 2005 which advocates that national health service bodies produce locally based strategies and plans of action for a number of environmental aspects, including waste. The Department did not set targets specific for recycling but rather adopted a more holistic waste management regime based on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair's (DEFRA's) ‘Waste not want not’ report and the waste strategy recommendations. This aims to prevent waste occurring in the first instance, advocating a waste hierarchy approach with reduction, reuse and recycling being addressed.

The Department does not retain records of those trusts that have produced recycling strategies. In recognising the importance of recycling as part of the waste hierarchy, the Department collects information about waste produced and recycling undertaken by the NHS in England. The NHS reported that on average it recycled 14 per cent. of its waste in 2006-07.

Health technical memorandum HTM 07-01 ‘Environment and Sustainability: Safe Management of healthcare waste’ was published in 2006 and provides a framework for best practice waste management to help healthcare organisations and other producers to meet legislative requirements. The Department has made plans to review HTM 07-01 during 2008 and is consulting with key stakeholders in DEFRA and the Department for Transport, as well as the regulators, as part of this process.