[holding answer 23 March 2009]: Local authorities have a power (not a duty) to pay recycling credits to third parties. These credits are payments in respect of waste for recycling or reuse which would otherwise have been dealt with by the local authority. Local authorities are expected to have in place controls that, among other things, ensure that the credits claimed relate to waste collected in their area.
[holding answer 24 March 2009]: The target of 40 per cent. recycling and composting of household waste by 2010 is a national target set out in the Waste Strategy for England 2007. This will be achieved by combining the recycling and composting rates of all local authorities in England.
Local authorities that face practical barriers, such as serving large numbers of apartment blocks or multi-occupancy houses, should not necessarily be expected to achieve the same level of recycling as those whose areas are dominated by traditional housing stock.
Under the National Indicators method of monitoring local authority performance, introduced by CLG in April 2008, each local authority chooses 35 indicators to be improvement targets. Of the 68 local authorities (out of a total of 394) that have chosen NI192 (recycling and composting rate) as a target, 35 have set the level at 40 per cent. or higher.
The latest audited data available show that the proportion of household waste recycled in England in 2007-08 was 34.5 per cent., an increase of 3.6 per cent. over the 2006-07 figure.