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15 Oct 2002 : Column 582W—continued

Domestic Waste

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tonnage of the domestic waste collection was reused as a raw material in the manufacture of (a) plastic, (b) glass, (c) paper and (d) board in the last recorded 12 month period. [74573]

Mr. Meacher: This information is not available.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what external advice she received regarding a duty on her to fund policies and programmes as a result of the requirement for her to have a 30 per cent. improvement in domestic energy efficiency as a principal aim under Part 1 of the Home Energy Conservation Bill; whether this advice suggests it would be within the terms of the Bill to make progress towards improving energy efficiency by (a) introducing new regulations and (b) energy efficiency programmes funded by bodies other than the Government; if she will place the advice in the Library; and if she will make a statement; [71006]

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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The Government has not sought any external advice on these matters. However, I am aware that the Bill's promoters sought legal advice on whether having a 30 per cent. improvement as a principal aim would have conferred a lesser obligation than a statutory duty to achieve this level of improvement, and whether it would have imposed any legal requirements on the Government to fund new obligations on local authorities.

We have received our own advice on the implications of having a 30 per cent. improvement in domestic energy efficiency as a principal aim in this Bill. These implications, including those for the Government and local authorities of any energy efficiency targets that the Secretary of State might set, how targets might be achieved, any constraints this might place on local authorities and the potential role of other energy efficiency programmes, have, of course, been discussed with other Government Departments. The Government is committed to funding fully the cost of any new obligations placed on local authorities, although this is not a legal obligation.

The Department has also received correspondence setting out a wide range of views on this and other aspects of the Bill, including from the Local Government Association, local authorities, trade associations, energy efficiency and fuel poverty groups and members of he public.

Waste Recycling

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the total tonnage of waste was collected for recycling in the last recorded 12 month period; and what proportion of that was from (a) domestic and (b) industrial sources. [74576]

Mr. Meacher: Figures from the 2000–01 Defra Municipal Waste Management Survey show that for England, the latest tonnages of waste of municipal waste collected for recycling or composting were 3,442,000 tonnes, 2,812,000 of which was from household sources.

The proportion of household waste that was recycled or composted was 10 per cent.

Figures from the 1998–99 Environment Agency National Waste Production Survey, the most recent available, show that for England and Wales, 22,100,000 tonnes of industrial waste were recycled or re-used. The proportion of industrial waste recycled or re-used was 44 per cent.

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much tonnage was collected from segregated domestic waste broken down by (a) paper, (b) plastic, (c) glass and (d) metals in the last recorded 12 month period. [74574]

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Mr. Meacher: Figures from the 2000–01 Defra Municipal Waste Management Survey show that for England, the following segregated household waste were collected for recycling:

Material recycledTonnagesAs a percentage of total household waste
collected
Paper and card910,0003.6
Plastics13,0000.1
Glass396,0001.8
Scrap metal, white goods and cans336,0001.3

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tonnage of collected segregated waste has been (a) landfilled and (b) fly-tipped in the last recorded 12 month period; and what proportion this is of the total waste collected. [74572]

Mr. Meacher: This information is not available.

Timber

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measurements she uses to monitor the change in levels of use of sustainable timber in public buildings. [74604]

Mr. Meacher: The Sustainable Development in Government report, which replaces the Greening Government reports and is due in November, is intended to give information on the levels of timber and timber products supplied from legal and sustainably managed sources. The Government's future performance and contribution to sustainable development (including procurement) will now be monitored under the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate—the main vehicle for systematically assessing, managing, reporting and improving performance in operational areas.

Defra also commissioned consultants in October 2000 to undertake a timber scoping study to help buyers more effectively implement the Government's commitment actively to seek to procure its timber and timber products from sustainable and legal sources. Their findings are now being considered in the light of the reports published by the Environmental Audit Committee in July and by stakeholders at an open meeting on 2 September. The policy does not extend beyond central Government, but Defra Ministers and officials have been promoting it to the wider public sector.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the steps that are taken to ensure that only sustainable timber is used on public projects. [74603]

Mr. Meacher: Several of the Government's furniture suppliers are switching to certified timber sources as a result of the Government's policy on timber procurement (28 Jul 2000, Official Report, column 947W), the inclusion of these requirements in Departmental contracts and the work of public bodies such as NHS

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Purchasing and Supply Agency. The Office of Government Commerce is reviewing its existing guidance and project management services contracts to draw attention to the Government's policy. Defra has also commissioned consultants to undertake a timber scoping study to help buyers to implement the commitment more effectively. The report on this study addresses, for example, the issue of assessing the credibility of suppliers' claims on the source of the timber supplied and the provision of expert help for buyers. A copy of the scoping study report is on the Tropical Forest Forum's web site. Look in Forum activities/Trade/Timber Trade at http://www.forestforum.org.uk.

Birds

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the change in the numbers of birds; and what steps are being taken to encourage the growth of the songbird population. [73556]

Mr. Morley: The Department annually monitors the numbers of a whole range of birds, including songbirds, through the Breeding Bird Survey. This survey, conducted and funded jointly by the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, assesses trends in the numbers of common species of birds across the country. A range of other surveys, funded by these organisations, assesses trends in scarcer species. Annual reports are produced for each of the surveys, but summary information derived from them is contained in the report The State of the UK's Birds 2001, which was published on 7 August.

It revealed:









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