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Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the value of recyclable materials on the recycling rates of local authorities. (256366)

Figures for local authority recycling rates since the onset of the fall in value of recyclable materials are not yet available. However, the Waste and Resources Action Programme reports that so far there is no indication of any significant change in local authority recycling performance as a result of the fall in market prices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his policy is on the payment of recycling credits to third party collectors who collect material from the kerbside in one local authority area but send the material to a neighbouring local authority area which is willing to pay a recycling credit and claim the recycling within their reported recycling rate and his Department’s WasteDataFlow system; (256886)

(2) how household recycling collected at the kerbside by social enterprise organisations is included in his Department’s WasteDataFlow in circumstances where the local authority does not pay a recycling credit.

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: Local authorities have a power but not a duty to pay recycling credits to third parties. The local authority in the area where the waste was collected may decide whether it would be reasonable to pay credits under these circumstances.

WasteDataFlow collects information on “tonnes of material collected from kerbside schemes by non contracted/voluntary community sector from household sources”. No information is collected on whether or not local authorities pay recycling credit in WasteDataFlow.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to review the distinction between his Department’s definitions of domestic and commercial waste for the purposes of recycling waste; and if he will make a statement. (257480)

The definitions of household and commercial waste used by DEFRA are those contained within Section 75 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990. Further clarification of these definitions is contained in the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992.

There are no plans to review these definitions.