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Departmental Wastes

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to reduce the volume of waste produced by it and sent to landfill in each of the last two years. (215919)

In the last Sustainable Development in Government report (2007), the Sustainable Development Commission recognised the significant progress the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had made towards reducing its waste. The FCO reduced its waste by 3.2 per cent. in 2006-07 and recycled 41.2 per cent. of waste, exceeding the Government target on recycling.

The FCO has taken several measures to reduce its waste and increase the amount which is recycled and re-used. Since 2005 these include:

purchasing and installing cardboard bailing machines and waste compactors at our offices in London and Buckinghamshire;

introducing an incentive scheme to encourage re-use of cardboard and plastic items at office catering outlets;

introducing recycling bins in key locations to encourage recycling of plastic, glass and cans throughout our offices; and

in 2008 the FCO replaced bottled still water at meetings with jugs of chilled tap water.