Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the use of private finance initiative contracts to fund future construction of waste incinerators and anaerobic digesters.

Photo of Richard Benyon

Richard Benyon (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Newbury, Conservative)

To qualify for waste infrastructure (WI) credits (formerly private finance initiative credits), local authorities have to demonstrate that their project meets all of DEFRA's WI criteria. DEFRA has allocated WI credits to 32 local authority projects. There are no plans to award WI credits to new projects; DEFRA will honour its obligations in relation to projects that have already had their outline business case approved.

The Government adopt a technology neutral position to allow for the development of a broad range of technologies. It is local authorities, not central Government, that have the responsibility for deciding how waste is managed in their respective areas. The choice of technology must reflect local circumstances, which will vary, and it is important that any plans for energy from waste facilities emerge out of local waste strategies to ensure the optimisation of reuse, recycling and composting activities.

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