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Departmental Wastes

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. (215884)

The following table shows the total waste produced, the amount of waste recycled and the amount sent to energy recovery facilities/landfill for the past two years for the Department for Work and Pensions, as reported against the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) waste target. Information for the baseline year (2004-05) has also been included to facilitate comparisons.




Total waste produced (metric tonnes)




Recycling (metric tonnes)




Recycling as percentage of total waste produced




Waste sent to energy recovery facilities and landfill as percentage of total waste produced




1 Baseline year.

Total waste arisings have fallen by over 33 per cent. since the baseline year. The Department aims to be an exemplar of sustainable procurement, and we actively encourage good demand management, to procure only the goods (or services) that we need to support the delivery of our business.

We are also committed to working with our suppliers to identify opportunities to reduce the amount of waste that is produced—for example by reducing packaging where feasible. Where delivery of contracts take place on the DWP estate there is a requirement for all our suppliers to help meet the SOGE targets, including those for waste.

Our rate of recycling has grown and remains well in excess of the 2010 target to recycle 40 per cent. of total waste. This has been mainly due to the implementation of the Total Paper Recycling Scheme across the estate over the last five years by Land Securities Trillium and their service partners. We also operate an intranet based “Swap Shop” which enables staff across DWP to redistribute surplus goods, which might otherwise have been sent to landfill. During 2008, 500 “lots” were found new homes.

A pilot is under way across the Yorkshire and Humber region to further enhance our recycling performance by introducing a new initiative “Recycle It—DWP” This will provide additional paper and cardboard recycling facilities, as well as providing opportunities to recycle other waste such as glass, cans and some plastic. If successful, it will be extended across the entire estate wherever viable.