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Waste Management: London

Volume 692: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimate has been made of the volume of hazardous waste produced by London householders; and what proportion of that is currently estimated to be collected by London boroughs on the latest available figures; and [HL3777]

What plans exist in London to improve the collection of hazardous waste in the area; and by when they expect these plans will be implemented.[HL3778]

The Household Hazardous Waste Forum has estimated that hazardous waste comprises some 1 per cent to 2 per cent of the household waste stream. The main items include paints and related materials, some household and garden chemicals, motoring products including waste oil and lead acid batteries, as well as some household appliances such as fridges, freezers and televisions.

The Government do not hold data on how much of this waste stream is collected by London boroughs. However, the City of London operates a hazardous waste collection service on behalf of 32 of the 33 boroughs. In addition, each waste disposal authority is required to provide facilities for the separate collection of all household waste. In terms of specific hazardous waste streams, industry estimates that in England above 90 per cent of lead acid batteries are separately collected, and approximately 85 per cent of waste oil is recorded as being separately collected. The remaining oil is believed to be used in small space heaters. Fridges, freezers and televisions are generally deposited at household waste recycling centres and consigned for treatment.

There are no current plans to change existing hazardous waste collection in London.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much London is required to contribute to the Gershon review proposals for efficiency gains on waste services; what proportion of that amount have London boroughs produced at the end of 2006-07; and by when they estimate the London boroughs will achieve their contribution to the Gershon target. [HL3780]

Sir Peter Gershon's review of public sector efficiency, published in July 2004, identified the opportunity for local government in England to achieve at least £6.45 billion per annum of sustainable efficiency gains by 2007-08. This is equivalent to 7.5 per cent of its 2004-05 baseline expenditure. The spending review 2004 translated the outcome of the report into an efficiency target of 2.5 per cent a year over the next three financial years across the public sector. Every local authority will be expected to meet this target and is free to choose how best to do so.

There is no set requirement for efficiency gains in London's waste services as targets have not been set for individual local services. This recognises the fact that individual authorities will have made more progress in achieving efficiency gains in certain sectors than others.

Information on gains achieved by councils in 2006-07 will not be reported until the autumn. However, London boroughs have confirmed that they achieved £33 million of efficiency gains each year in environmental services by the end of 2005-06 and have forecasted that £54 million will have been achieved by the end of 2006-07. This represents 22 per cent of the total efficiencies posted in environmental services—3 per cent greater than London's 19 per cent share of English authorities' total waste management and street cleansing expenditure.