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Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme have (i) issued guidance and (ii) allocated funding to local authorities related to audits of the contents of domestic waste receptacles; (294430)

(2) what funding and other support (a) his Department and (b) Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to local authorities to undertake surveys of the contents of household waste from specific properties; and what guidance his Department has issued on whether the prior consent of the householder is required.

DEFRA has not provided any funding or support to local authorities related to audits of the contents of domestic waste receptacles.

Where the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) supports waste composition surveys, it normally contracts this work out directly. Occasionally, when it is part of a wider project, WRAP provides funding to local authorities to carry out the work. In both cases WRAP requires prior consent to be sought from the householders concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme provided for local authorities in relation to waste (i) collection and (ii) disposal in the most recent year for which figures are available. (294466)

In 2008-09 DEFRA directly provided £78.2 million in funding to local authorities outside London via the Waste Infrastructure Capital Grant. £60 million will be made available to London authorities through the London Waste and Recycling Fund for the period 2008-09 to 2010-11. These unringfenced capital grants will be paid to upper tier and unitary authorities to enable them to set up the necessary waste infrastructure to help England meet landfill targets.

DEFRA also provides financial support to local authorities through Private Finance Initiative credits to help accelerate the building of the infrastructure needed to treat residual waste without compromising efforts to minimise waste and increase recycling levels. To date £2.5 billion has been allocated to 37 projects. Further information can be found on DEFRA’s website.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) provided a total of £2.68 million to local authorities during 2008-09. The funds were spent on local communications campaigns specifically to improve communications with householders about local recycling services and to promote the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign. WRAP has no remit in relation to waste disposal and has not, therefore, provided any funds to local authorities in relation to it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's 4Es Model on planning for waste prevention. (294468)

The 4Es Model was published in “Securing the future: delivering UK sustainable development strategy” (March 2005). This document is available on DEFRA’s website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the circumstances in which municipal waste collectors can refuse to collect household waste from a dwelling. (294556)

The amendment to section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act, made through the Climate Change Act 2008, provides a single point of reference in legislation for local authorities in order to further clarify the existing Government policy that where residents put out their waste in a way that does not meet the conditions set out in a section 46 notice, authorities are not required to collect it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether trade waste collected and placed in landfill by (a) local authorities and (b) private sector contractors in a local authority area is reckoned towards that local authority's Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme quota. (294609)

The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) was set up to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent by local authorities to landfill.

The local authority's LATS quota is based on the biodegradable waste fraction of the overall waste arising for that local authority. Where the local authority collects commercial waste that is included as part of its overall waste arising; waste collected by private waste management companies does not form part of the LATS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume of household waste collected for recycling was (a) incinerated and (b) disposed of in landfill sites in the latest period for which figures are available. (294611)

WasteDataFlow is used to obtain data on waste collected by local authorities. However, the data requested are not available due to the nature of the questions asked in WasteDataFlow and the data collected.

In 2007-08 the amount of municipal waste sent to a materials recovery facility for recycling was 1,571,586 tonnes. Of this:

(a) 36,465 tonnes was rejected and incinerated for energy recovery; and

(b) 68, 644 tonnes was rejected and landfilled.

In 2007-08 the estimated total amount of household waste that was rejected for recycling was 126,626 tonnes. This is out of a total of 8,840,960 tonnes of household waste collected for recycling. The rejected tonnages include not only waste sent to a materials recovery facility, but also recycling rejected at the point of collection and materials collected for recycling that were not passed through a materials recovery facility.

Materials are rejected due to contamination or due to them not being recyclable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent (a) assessment has been made and (b) research has been commissioned by (i) his Department, (ii) the Waste and Resources Action Programme and (iii) the Environment Agency into the burning of household waste by householders. (294619)

No specific assessment has been made by DEFRA or the Environment Agency of the level of burning of domestic waste by households in England. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is not responsible for research or policy on backyard burning.

In 2006 DEFRA published a research project to review complaints received by local authorities about bonfire smoke, which advised on the legal and practical remedies available to local authorities and private individuals.

In addition, DEFRA carried out research into emissions of dioxins from the burning of domestic waste in 2006. The review recommended that further scientific research should be carried out to establish what practical measures could be taken to reduce dioxin emissions from bonfires and domestic combustion and, consequently, exposure to dioxins. Further work in estimating dioxin emissions from domestic burning has subsequently been carried out and another research programme is currently being undertaken by DEFRA which will establish a release inventory for dioxins as well as provide information on the most effective approach for carrying out a public awareness campaign educating the public on the impacts of burning garden and domestic waste with regard to dioxin emissions. This research work is due to conclude in 2011.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has issued to waste collection authorities on charging householders for (i) new or (ii) replacement household wheeled refuse containers. (294628)

Neither DEFRA nor the Waste and Resources Action Programme has issued any recent guidance to waste collection authorities on their powers under Section 46(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has commissioned in relation to household waste in the last 18 months. (294652)

DEFRA's Waste and Resources Evidence Programme (WREP) has just published a major review study to help distil the evidence emerging from research work completed by the Department and other organisations on household waste prevention. In addition, WREP has also commissioned a project looking at approaches for dealing with household hazardous waste and another study investigating waste composition.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the research report commissioned by his Department with reference (a) WR0105 and (b) WR0106. (294965)

DEFRA has received the draft final report for WR0105 ‘Project REDUCE Monitoring and Evaluation—Developing Tools to Measure Waste Prevention’ and the project team is currently completing a finalised version ready for publication. The final report will be made publicly available on DEFRA's website.

The project (WR0106) ‘Achieving Household Waste Prevention Through Product Service Systems’ is publicly available on DEFRA's website.