Clause 71

Climate Change Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 8th July 2008.

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Waste reduction provisions: report and review

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The Minister referred last Thursday to £2 billion of PFI credits available for waste infrastructure, and said that there is no prohibition on any form of scheme. Some incinerator schemes are coming forward, and there is an additional £10 million available for anaerobic digesters. She said:

“It is now accepted that no serious health effects result from incineration.”——[Official Report, Climate Change Public Bill Committee, 3 July 2008; c. 333.]

I beg to differ with the Minister’s conclusion. Waste strategies are coming forward in each local authority, and several include heat in some shape or form, whether that is straight incineration or not. I repeat the request that I made in connection with clause 69. In relation to the provision for a report or review in clause 71, and an interim report in clause 72, will the Government elaborate on what was said at column 333 so as to end the public disquiet on that form of waste reduction?

I do not know if the mailbags of other hon. Members reflect my own, but in the Vale of York, at any mention of heat, a local action group is immediately set up—outside the confines of the Committee, I could show the Minister  five ongoing campaigns. In relation to the reports, will the Minister use her good offices to have a public discussion and end public disquiet about the matter?

Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste)

Unless I am wrong, the hon. Lady is not dealing with any provision that exists in clause 71. Those reports are about the pilots. What she talks about has nothing to do with waste collection; it is to do with waste disposal and incineration—she refers to heat, but I think that she means incineration plants.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

That is a form of waste reduction. It means sending less to landfill. Does the Minister say that none of the pilots will look at anything other than recycling?

Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste)

The pilots are about incentivising behaviour and the way that householders separate household waste into recyclables and residual waste. The destination of residual waste is a decision for the disposal authority. In some cases, that is the same authority as the collection authority, in others it is separate. Those decisions do not relate to the provisions in the Bill. I responded to the points, but they remain outside the provisions of the clause. I will write to the hon. Lady about where to find information that can satisfy the public about the safe operation of incinerators.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 71 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 72 to 74 ordered to stand part of the Bill.