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Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 19 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the Waste and Resources Action Programme plans to end its support for subsidised composting bins for householders; on what date such support will end; and what estimate has been made of the average change in the cost to a householder of a compost bin as a result. (275761)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme's (WRAP's) home composting campaign used central funding to subsidise the sale of home composting bins for five years. In that time two million home compost bins were sold and 40 per cent. of households with gardens are now home composting. It is estimated that, as a result of WRAP'S programme, more than 300,000 tonnes of organic waste have been diverted from the waste stream each year, resulting in significant waste management and disposal cost savings.

Having demonstrated the benefits of promoting home composting, it was appropriate for local authorities to decide how home composting should fit within their waste strategies and for them to take responsibility for deciding on a suitable level of subsidy. WRAP stopped subsidising compost bins at the end of March 2009. As a result, the full cost of bins to consumers rose by an average of £8, except where the local authority decided to offer its own subsidy. A total of 37 waste disposal authorities are currently offering varying degrees of subsidy. WRAP will continue to promote home composting to the public and provide practical advice and support as part of a wider waste reduction programme.