Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the latest figures are for the amount of compostable material disposed of each year in England; how much is reclaimed and recycled as compost; and what plans she has to increase this figure. 
Mr. Morley: The Municipal Waste Management Survey of local authorities in England for 200203, shows that 14.28m tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste was disposed of to landfill, and 1.2m tonnes composted. In addition 1.1m tonnes of paper and card were recycled. As yet there is no method of measuring the amount recycled through home composting.
From the Environment Agency's National Waste Production Survey of a sample of 40,000 businesses, conducted in 1998, it is estimated that 2.78m tonnes of biodegradable industrial and commercial waste was disposed of to landfill, 0.85m tonnes composted and a further 4.75m tonnes of paper and card recycled.
The Government are taking a number of steps to increase the amount of biowaste composted. For example, we have established the Waste Implementation Programme (WIP), to support local authorities in achieving the UK's Landfill Directive targets to divert biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. The Government have also established the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to create stable and efficient markets for recyclates, including organic material. WRAP is also running a home composting programme and has already organised distribution of over 60,000 composting bins to households in England. In addition Defra, through the Environmental Action Fund (EAF), has provided the Composting Association with £282,000 over three years to raise awareness of composting.
Waste is a devolved issue. The Government have taken numerous steps to increase recycling in England. For example, national household waste recycling targets have been set, supported by statutory recycling and composting targets with an increase in funding for local government waste activities for each local authority. Government have also
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established the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to create stable and efficient markets for recycled materials across the UK.
This specific action on recycling is supported by steps to move municipal waste management up the waste hierarchy. For example, in England, a Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme for local authorities is being developed and the Waste Implementation Programme (WIP) has been established, to support authorities in achieving the UK's Landfill Directive targets to divert biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. In addition, the Government have committed to increasing the UK Landfill Tax rate to £35 per tonne of active waste in the medium term.
As a result of these and other actions the proportion of municipal waste being recycled in England has increased to 15.6 per cent. in 200203 and we expect to meet our 200304 national household waste recycling target of 17 per cent.
Steps taken to increase recycling of non-municipal waste include amending the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997: new UK targets were set last year to raise overall recovery by obligated companies from 59 per cent. in 2003 to 63 per cent. this year and 70 per cent. by 2008, with the percentage to be achieved through recycling rising to 95 per cent. in 200708. We will also be announcing shortly a package, funded by Landfill Tax escalator receipts from business more resource efficient, to help business in England become more resource efficient.
Mr. Morley: "Energy Efficiency: The Government's Plan for Action" was published on 26 April 2004. The Government estimate that the measures in the Plan will save over 12 million tonnes of carbon by 2010, saving consumers over £3 billion annually. Key measures in the energy efficiency plan include:
A new aim to save 4.2 million tonnes of carbon from households by 2010;
Double the level of Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) activity from 2005 to 2011, subject to a review in 2007;
New fiscal measures announced in Budget 2004, including a tax allowance to encourage domestic landlords to invest in their properties;
New energy services pilots, through which energy suppliers can offer innovative energy efficiency packages to customers;
Information, advice and support through the work of the Energy Saving and Carbon Trusts;
Incentives to improve efficiency in industry including revised targets and extension of the scope of the Climate Change Agreements, together with the forthcoming EU emissions trading scheme;
Committed leadership by Government including a new commitment by central government to use only the best energy performance buildings; More emphasis on communicating with people about climate change.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) homes and (b) farm holdings have been unable to obtain insurance policies against flood damage in the last year for which statistics are available; and if she will make a statement. 
The ABI are not aware of any instances where renewal has been refused on farm holdings. Farm buildings in general do not tend to have flood insurance due to the nature of their construction and lack of foundations.
Mr. Morley: We are awaiting revised proposals from the EU Commission on labelling thresholds for approved GM seeds in non GM seeds. The UK Government position on the proposals will be based on scientific advice, the practicability of the measures that would need to be applied to ensure that we could enforce the regulations, and recognition that any thresholds set for seeds must be achievable by seed producers.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether changes to flood defence provision will be made to achieve efficiency savings as announced in the Spending Review, broken down by financial year. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has agreed to deliver efficiencies in its flood defence activities of £15 million for each of the financial years covered by the 2004 Spending Review (200506 to 200708). These efficiencies will be achieved through better procurement practices, greater use of new technology and a reduction in the process costs of delivering the capital programme. These savings will offset the effects of inflation and increases in construction costs currently estimated at 4 per cent. per annum.
Ms. Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will change the Warm Front scheme by (a) not time-limiting a second application where it is for heating which had not previously been claimed for and (b) allowing old and inefficient boilers to be replaced before they break down. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is currently developing a Fuel Poverty Implementation Plan which will consider options for better targeting and will review the eligibility criteria and effectiveness of current measures offered under Warm Front.
In response to the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office we have introduced a pilot to establish how best households with intermittently and ineffective working boilers can be assisted by the scheme. The results of this pilot will be assessed later in the year.
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