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Recycling

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the capacity of England’s recycling facilities, broken down by type of facility. (231669)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) ran a conference on 23 October entitled “Recovered Materials: Navigating the Global Economic Slowdown”.

At the conference, WRAP reported that in 2007, 110 million tonnes of material, with an economic value of £3.7 billion, were collected for recycling in the UK. Of this material, 97 million tonnes was processed in the UK.

A breakdown of these figures by material is given in the following table.

mt

Material stream

Collected

Processed in UK

Aggregates and soil

71.3

71.3

Metals/WEEE/ELV

13.0

5.0

Paper and card

8.5

4.0

Green waste

4.2

4.2

Food waste

2.0

2.0

Glass

1.8

1.5

Wood

1.8

1.8

Other

8.0

7.2

Total

110.6

97.0

Figures for England are not available separately.

It is important to note that data on recycling capacity is highly dependent on the point in the recycling chain (from collection, through sorting and reprocessing, to end-use) at which the measurement is made. For this reason, a single estimate of the UK’s overall recycling capacity is not available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to improve recycling capacity. (231670)

For the period 2008-09 to 2010-11, DEFRA is making £185 million of grant funding available to local authorities through the Waste Infrastructure Capital Grant (WICG) and £60 million through the London Waste and Recycling Fund. These un-ringfenced capital grants will be paid to upper tier and unitary authorities in recognition of the need to provide waste infrastructure, such as recycling and composting facilities, in time to help England meet landfill targets.