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Public Service Agreements

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department will adopt all the targets set by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in their public service agreement. [1715]

Mr. Morley: The Department has taken over responsibility for all of the public service agreement targets published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. We have also assumed responsibility for the public service agreement targets relating to areas of work transferred from the former Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.


Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she takes to ensure that the building of incinerators does not undermine the viability of local recycling schemes. [1810]

Mr. Meacher: The Government have made it clear in "Waste Strategy 2000" that incinerators must not crowd out recycling. Local authorities must also deliver the statutory targets set by the Government which will, on average, double the recycling and composting of household waste within three years and nearly treble it within five years.

We have also set guidelines on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects to require proposals including incinerators to demonstrate that all opportunities for recycling have been considered first and that there is no barrier to the future development of recycling. We have also established a £40 million Waste and Resources Action Programme to overcome market barriers and hence improve the long-term viability of recycling of waste.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list, in order of rank, recycling rates achieved by each OECD country. [3140]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 10 July 2001]: The table lists estimated municipal waste recycling (including composting) rates for OECD countries. The rates are based on figures published in the "OECD Environmental Data, Compendium 1999". The OECD publication does not include recycling rates and the figures given have been estimated from the information available. Comparisons between countries should be made with caution. There are doubts about comparability for a number of countries because of missing data, differences

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in the year, coverage and definitions (e.g. of recycling, municipal waste). Such differences, where they are known, are set out in the notes to the table.

Municipal waste—OECD countries, latest year available

CountryYearRecycling (including composting) rate percentage
Slovak Republic199713
Russian Federation19921
Czech Republic1994n/a
New Zealand1995n/a

(92) Household waste only

(93) Flanders only—includes 330K of construction waste

(94) May include waste from demolition sites, sewerage and water treatment

(95) Household only

(96) Includes construction/demolition waste and sewage sludge

(97) Includes construction/demolition waste

(98) Based on England and Wales data from Municipal Waste Survey

(99) Household (excluding bulky waste) only

(100) Total waste generated excludes separate collection


Recycling rate is based on composting and recycling tonnage divided by the total waste generated. For those countries marked * the total waste generated is less than the total of all disposals because residues of some treatments e.g. (composting) are landfilled. The relevant recycling rate may therefore include some material which is subsequently landfilled.


OECD Environmental Data: Compendium 1999, Table 7.2C

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Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what initiatives the Government plans to encourage local authorities to raise waste recycling targets; [6212]

Mr. Meacher: We have put in place statutory performance standards on recycling that all local authorities must achieve by 2003–04 and 2005–06. We have also said that we would look again at longer-term targets in the light of what local authorities are able to achieve and in the light of any technological developments.

The Spending Review 2000 announced the framework for the Government's support to local authorities for the next three years up to 2003–04. This included an annual increase in the revenue support to local authorities for Environmental Protection and Cultural Services (EPCS), which includes waste management efforts. By 2003–04 this support will have risen by £1.1 billion over the 2000–01 provision. Consistent with the general local authority financial framework, it is for Essex County Council to decide the proportion of their budget that should be directed to waste management work.

In addition to general support to local authority revenue expenditure, the spending review provided £140 million of Government grant for waste management work and £220 million for Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) resources, for waste projects. We will shortly consult on how the £140 million grant should be distributed. At this stage it is not possible to identify what funding Essex County Council might receive from this source.

Local Public Service Agreements also provide opportunities for authorities to commit themselves to exceeding the statutory recycling targets and to be rewarded with additional resources for doing so.

We have also established the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to promote sustainable waste management by working to create stable markets for recycled materials and products and remove barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling. A stable and efficient market for recycled materials will help local authorities in their efforts to meet their statutory performance targets.

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what initiatives the Government have to make the public more aware of the importance of waste recycling. [6215]

Mr. Meacher: DEFRA's "Are You Doing Your Bit?" campaign promotes messages to encourage people to reduce waste (including through recycling), use energy efficiently, and conserve water. The campaign aims to inform people about the impact of their individual and collective actions and to motivate individuals to make small changes in their everyday actions to protect the environment.

The Department also supports the activities of the National Waste Awareness Initiative. This programme, targeted predominantly at the general public, aims to encourage more responsible attitudes towards waste and

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ways of dealing with it that are more sustainable eg to reduce it at source, re-use it, recycle it, or dispose of it safely if no other alternative exists.

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make a statement on her target for recycling household waste; [7764]

Mr. Meacher: Under the Local Government Act 1999, the Government have set statutory performance standards for each English local authority for the composting and recycling of household waste. Overall, these standards require a doubling of recycling in 2003–04 and a tripling by 2005–06 compared to the 1998–99 baseline.

We will increase further the targets for household waste recycling and composting once these initial targets have been achieved.

Livestock Diseases

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will investigate reports of outbreaks of blisters in the mouths of sheep and cattle unrelated to foot and mouth disease; if she will issue guidance to vets on this subject; and if she will assess to what extent such blisters may be mistaken for foot and mouth disease. [1979]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 July 2001]: I replied to the hon. Member by letter on 6 August 2001. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.

Blisters or vesicles are normally caused by the foot and mouth disease virus. It is the presence of ulcers and other mouth lesions that may cause difficulties in diagnosis. This is because lesions caused by the foot and mouth disease virus heal quickly in sheep and may not be present to aid a diagnosis whereas lesions due to other causes take longer to heal. To aid the diagnosis of foot and mouth disease, descriptions of some of the more common mouth lesions found in sheep, not caused by the foot and mouth disease virus, have been published in recent months in the veterinary literature.

Because of the need to cull animals believed to have foot and mouth disease within 24 hours to prevent the spread of disease, cases of foot and mouth disease must be confirmed on clinical grounds, without the benefit of laboratory results. A veterinary officer may order the slaughter of susceptible livestock on suspicion of disease in circumstances where the symptoms are suggestive of foot and mouth disease but not sufficiently consistent to confirm disease on clinical grounds.

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