New clause 30 - Zero waste strategy

Part of Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 10th April 2003.

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Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment) 3:45 pm, 10th April 2003

I very much agree with that. It is sensible to allow people some measure of flexibility so that they can get rid of bulky items, by refusing to collect them, for example. Alternatively, one could impose a charge of £10 for the removal of bulky items,

which is what the Liberal Democrats did one year ago in Oldham, where, for the time being, they have a majority of one. That was unwise, because despite the increase in income, which is difficult to measure, I suspect that there has been a disproportionate loss in terms of people leaving around large bulky items or fly tipping. One should work with the grain of people who wish to comply with the law, and not put too many obstacles in their path.

To conclude—hon. Members will be delighted—I agree on the importance of a strategy to deliver a more sustainable waste management system, which is why we have already developed a framework that is now in place and which we are trying to deliver. As hon. Members have heard me say—it is a boring record—the Bill is just one part of that delivery.

On the basis of that explanation and the interesting and valuable debate that we have had and on which I shall follow up, I hope that the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings will not press new clause 30.