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Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what powers waste collection authorities have to enter premises in relation to suspected breaches of waste regulations; and what powers they have to (a) measure and (b) photograph household waste; (252326)

(2) whether joint waste authorities will be eligible to undertaken directed surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000;

(3) what powers of entry the joint waste authorities will have.

Section 92A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) gives local authorities powers to serve a litter clearing notice on any open land, requiring the occupier, or failing that, the owner, to clear litter from that land. If the notice is not complied with, they can enter the land, clean up and then reclaim their costs.

Section 59 of the EPA allows waste regulation authorities and waste collection authorities to serve a notice on the occupier or owner of land to require the removal of controlled waste unlawfully and knowingly deposited. Where a person fails to meet these requirements, the local authority or the Environment Agency may clear the waste and seek to recover the costs.

Waste collection authorities have no powers to enter domestic premises to gather evidence of breaches of regulations on how waste is presented for collection.

It is intended that joint waste authorities should have the same powers as are currently available to local authorities when they are carrying out those functions which joint waste authorities may take over.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to local authorities on the use of large communal bins for household waste; (252636)

(2) what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to local authorities on the number of household waste bins to be provided to households.

There has not been a call for guidance on the use of large communal bins for household waste or on the number of household waste bins to be provided to households, either to DEFRA or WRAP.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have undertaken into means of waste (i) collection and (ii) disposal of mercury-containing compact fluorescent lights for domestic use. (252729)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps his Department is taking to encourage local authorities to undertake separate food waste collections; (252927)

(2) how many local authorities offer a separate food waste collection service.

Separate collection of food waste has so far been introduced by 36 local authorities in England, including 17 authorities who are working with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on trials of the collection of segregated household food waste. These are separate food only schemes and do not include mixed food and garden waste collections.

Separate collection of food waste can help achieve environmental gains more cost-effectively, including through the use of anaerobic digestion to provide energy. Further means of extending separate food waste collections and increasing the proportion of food waste collected which is routed to anaerobic digestion are also under consideration.