Clause 21 - ''Biodegradable waste'' and ''municipal waste''

Part of Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 10th April 2003.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:30 pm, 10th April 2003

I have a short question. We are dealing with the definition of biodegradable waste, but at what point is biodegradable waste biodegraded? At what point is it no longer biodegradable? Is there such a definition? In my constituency, a tremendous company called Biorganics runs a composting scheme. It deals largely with feathers from the Sun Valley factory, which is just inside the Hereford constituency. One of the factory's big problems is the huge amount of feathers that it produces, because it has no way of dealing with them. They are made of keratin, which does not naturally break down, which is why one sees feathers lying round the countryside. However, the scheme allows compost to be produced—at least, that is the generic term. In fact, it is a sort of soil, which is used on the fields. It is a tremendous fertiliser.