Clause 22 - ''Landfill''

Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 10th April 2003.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes 4:45 pm, 10th April 2003

I beg to move amendment No. 84, in

clause 22, page 15, line 8, after 'land', insert

'both solid rock and sedimentary deposits, including soil'.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:

No. 85, in

clause 22, page 15, line 15, at end insert

', provided that this waste is not subsequently sent to landfill at that same site.'.

No. 15, in

clause 22, page 15, line 19, leave out 'three years' and insert 'one year'.

No. 86, in

clause 22, page 15, line 20, leave out 'one year' and insert 'three months'.

No. 87, in

clause 22, page 15, line 21, after 'deposit', insert 'and/or storage'.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes

With good will on both sides, it should be possible to deal with this group of amendments quickly. They are disparate amendments that have been grouped together, so each will require an explanation. Amendment No. 84 is simply a probing amendment to establish the Minister's definition of land, as it is important to clarify that. We have suggested a possible definition. Amendment No. 87 is an attempt to tidy up what could be an ambiguous arrangement in clause 22(3), by inserting the word ''storage.''

Amendment No. 85 expresses our concern that a possible abuse could be built into the Bill because clause 22(2)(a) allows for the temporary storage of waste, but clause 22(2)(b) speaks of waste being deemed suitable for disposal. It is possible, with a site that is doubling as a waste transfer site as well as a landfill site, that waste received for landfill could, if it is convenient for reaching targets, be classified as waste that is being stored. That could happen even if the intention is to deposit it in landfill elsewhere on the site or even at the place where it is being stored. That loophole should be closed. I hope that the Minister will respond to that.

Amendments Nos. 15 and 86 seek to reduce the time that waste can be held in limbo. They seek to

avoid possible abuses in the classification of waste. It may be possible for waste to be held under clause 22(2)(d) for up to a year before it is disposed of. The receiver of the waste ought to know quite quickly whether it is to be disposed of or not. If it is to be disposed of, what is the point of storing it on site for a year? That opens a possible loophole. Clause 22(2)(c) speaks of

''the storage of waste, prior to recovery or treatment, for a period of less than three years as a general rule''

That is excessive. How will such waste be held for the three years? Is that counted for the purposes of the Bill as waste that has been subject to treatment or disposal, and therefore recovery—waste that has been dealt with effectively, as is the Bill's intention? Or is it treated as waste held, or waste that is in effect landfill because it is being held without being recovered or recycled? There is a loophole in that respect that needs to be closed.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

I wish the Committee a happy Easter.

Debate adjourned.—[Mr. Ainger.]

Adjourned accordingly at Five o'clock till Tuesday 29 April at five minutes to Nine o'clock.