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Lord Stoddart of Swindon: Before the noble Lord withdraws the amendment, I noticed that the noble Baroness made the comparison between this country and some other countries in Europe. We incinerate 10 per cent and they incinerate 20 per cent, which is an enormous difference. Has the noble Lord made any calculation of how many additional incinerators we would need if we were to meet the European average?

Lord Greaves: I have made no such calculations. I am sure that even the most avid proponent of absolute uniformity across Europe would not suggest that, on matters such as incinerators, we should regard it as a matter of policy to go to the European average. I have always taken the general view that we should be trying to lead the rest of Europe in whatever direction we think is right, and hope that they follow us. I know that the noble Lord does not believe that that is ever possible and that we always have to kow-tow to some mythical gang of bureaucrats, but I am afraid that I cannot provide him with the answer. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Greaves moved Amendment No. 73:

"( ) the amount of construction and demolition waste from England that goes to landfill;
( ) the amount of construction and demolition waste from outside England that goes to landfills in England;
( ) the amount of commercial and industrial waste from England that goes to landfill;
( ) the amount of commercial and industrial waste from outside England that goes to landfills in England;
( ) the amount of end of life electrical and electronic equipment from England that goes to landfill;
( ) the amount of end of life electrical and electronic equipment from outside England that goes to landfills in England;
( ) the amount of end of life vehicles from England that goes to landfill; and
( ) the amount of end of life vehicles from outside England that goes to landfills in England."

The noble Lord said: This is another collection of items that we should like to include under the strategy. This group of amendments should include Amendment No. 105, which was turfed out of the previous group, and should not include Amendment No. 106, which belongs in the group starting with Amendment No. 77. But those are details and no doubt I shall have my knuckles rapped again for trying to involve matters which are properly the concern of devolved administrations. I accept that before I start.

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Amendment No. 73 is misprinted in the Marshalled List and the first two proposed subsections appear twice—it shows a commendable enthusiasm for our amendment to print them twice, but I should point out that it is unnecessary. That leaves six subsections, four of which cover the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive and the matter of end of life vehicles. We discussed that in some detail in relation to the first amendment that we discussed yesterday, so it would be wasting the Committee's time if we discussed them in detail again—save to say that we believe that the Bill really ought to be more over-arching and it ought to include those matters, but we have made that point before.

The substantive new point here is the question of the amount of construction and demolition waste from England that goes to landfill. That forms the majority of landfill anyhow. It makes the major claim on the holes in the land and the new hills that people may build—to which the noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield, referred yesterday. This is a probing amendment to ask the Government: what is their strategy for construction and demolition waste? Do they believe in a strategy that will result in a reduction in the volume of that important waste that goes to landfill—a huge amount of which, with reasonable treatment, can be used again? I beg to move.

5.15 p.m.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: These amendments concern the strategy for each part of the United Kingdom required under Clauses 16 to 19 to fulfil the Landfill Directive requirement to have a national strategy for the reduction of biodegradable waste going to landfill. I accept the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Greaves, about not pursuing issues that have rightfully been devolved to other administrations. That may lead to some amendments possibly not being moved later in the groupings list.

Amendment No. 92—I will delete the reference to Amendment No. 106 in the light of the noble Lord inserting Amendment No. 105—and Amendment No. 106C relate to parts of the UK outside England and therefore can be left on one side.

Amendment No. 73 would extend the statutory scope for the strategy for England well beyond the main purpose. As the noble Lord said, it would add waste other than biodegradable waste, such as construction and industrial waste. The Government agree with the need to reduce in this area. The aggregate levy is used to encourage reuse. Landfill tax at 12 a tonne on this waste is also an incentive to achieve the objective that the noble Lords rightfully identified.

Many of these are matters that the Government would wish to cover in any waste strategy for England. Indeed, the Waste Strategy 2000 does so. We will review that strategy in the light of the recommendations or, as the noble Lords recognise, of the Strategy Unit report. We do not believe there is a need to include in the Bill everything that should be

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contained in the general waste strategy for England. The main purpose of Clause 16 is to give effect to the Landfill Directive, not to provide for a strategy—as the noble Lord heard us say yesterday—for electrical waste, for example, which is not biodegradable. I hope the noble Lord will feel I have answered the points he raised and feel able to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Greaves: On a similar basis to the previous amendment, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 74 not moved.]

Lord Dixon-Smith moved Amendment No. 75:

    Page 11, line 7, at end insert—

"( ) the amount of inert waste that goes to landfill in England"

The noble Lord said: I need to make two apologies at the start of my remarks. The first is that I have to confess that I took my eye off the grouping ball on this one, for which I apologise. However, so did the Government Whips Office and so did the department.

My second apology is to the Minister, because what I now say may throw her papers into confusion for a few moments. Amendment No. 75 is parallel with Amendments Nos. 91, 103 and 117, and Amendment No. 76, which is grouped with this one, is parallel with Amendments Nos. 93, 103 and 117, because we are now dealing with the strategies and the legislation that sets them up and backs them. These first two amendments apply to England, the second two apply to Scotland, the third two apply to Wales and the fourth two apply to Northern Ireland. We did not manage to get the amendments grouped correctly, for which I apologise. The answer is perhaps that we debate the issue on these and when we get to the subsequent amendments discretion might be the better part of valour and we should say no more. Even I may miss that as we go through but I will try and stick to that.

The important point that we want to make on Amendment No. 75—and it has to apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—is that although the Bill is concerned with domestic biodegradable waste, that comprises only about 30 or 35 per cent of the amount of material that goes to landfill. There ought to be a strategy for reducing the amount of inert waste that goes to landfill as well. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should have to consider that. That is the rationale behind Amendment No. 75 and its parallel amendments. While under the European regulation we have to have a strategy for domestic biodegradable waste, there is the wider issue of inert wastes, and they need to be considered also.

Amendment No. 76 appears to be reasonable. We need to work very hard to reduce the volume of waste we produce in the first instance, before it becomes waste. The noble Lord, Lord Stoddart, is a strong advocate of this. We have a throw-away culture and we need to reverse that. Amendment No. 76 has that thought as its prime motivation and again it is parallel through Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I see that the noble Baroness is shuffling her

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papers. I apologise that we did not get this right but I am surprised that everybody else missed it as well. I beg to move.

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: My recollection is that the split did not occur until there was some regrouping of amendments. On the issue of strategies beyond the framework within which we are seeking to achieve the reduction of biodegradable waste to meet the European Landfill Directive, many, if not all, of the amendments referring to the devolved administrative countries of the UK refer to matters that are their responsibility within the powers that have been devolved to them. Because the Bill is defined in a particular way, to deal with that directive and what we should be doing, the Government do not wish to extend the statutory scope beyond this main purpose.

The amendment, which adds inert waste, is a different area in that a significant proportion of inert waste will be produced by industry, for which local authorities do not have responsibility. That lies outside the relevant provisions of the Landfill Directive. Amendment No. 76, which describes the way in which the strategy should be delivered, is far too prescriptive. I experience this as a householder in my home city of Preston. It is appropriate for that local authority to adopt that strategy, but the noble Lord goes too far in suggesting that one method should be used everywhere.

The Waste Strategy 2000, which is outwith the Bill, is aimed at reducing inert waste. Here we are dealing with a strategy to cope with those elements of waste that either pollute water or release methane. The strategy that we have adopted, in response to the very important issues the noble Lord has raised, is a far wider one. As we explained yesterday, many of these issues will be dealt with in our response to the Strategy Unit report. I note with gratitude that both noble Lords acknowledge the importance of recognising the devolved situation. I therefore hope I will not have to repeat my comments on amendments dealing with Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

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