To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effects on local authorities' expenditure on landfill waste of reductions in recycling levels in the current economic situation.
I have been asked to reply.
The effects of the current downturn in recycling markets on local authority expenditure depend on a number of factors and we have not yet made such an estimate. But according to the best available information, there has been no significant increase to date in the use of landfill, and I would like to congratulate local authorities and householders for the efforts they are making to keep recycling going in present circumstances. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely in liaison with the Local Government Association, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the Environment Agency, the waste management industry and others.