New Clause 5 — Environmental impact assessment of incineration
Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords]
Mr Norman Baker (Lewes, Liberal Democrat)
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the excellent survey on the website of the hon. Member for Southampton, Test, which includes that information. He has also collected, through parliamentary answers, details of planning permissions that have been given and are outstanding. Mr. Drew may want to dispute that information, but it comes from a Labour MP, so I hope that he is not saying that it is in any way unreliable.
The reality is that under the Bill, local authorities are faced with a very short time scale within which to conform to the EU landfill directive. They know that they have to reduce the amount of landfill very quickly. The situation is not comparable to that in Denmark or anywhere else. We landfill about 80 per cent. of our household waste and we have to get that down to 35 per cent. Doing that quickly will require either an explosion in recycling, a really radical waste minimisation programme, or more incineration. Local councils are saying that only way in which they can meet the target quickly and effectively is to opt for incineration.