Electricity Generation: Waste

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 28 November 2017 to Question 115103 on electricity generation: waste, what steps he is taking to ensure that less biodegradable waste is disposed of through incineration rather than through (a) composting and (b) anaerobic digestion.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Local councils have a statutory duty to collect household waste and dispose of it according to the waste hierarchy. This requires councils to take all reasonable measures to ensure that biodegradable waste, such as garden waste and food waste, is recycled through a) composting and b) anaerobic digestion, ahead of incineration.

There has been an increase in the provision of garden waste and food waste collections, with 97% of councils in England providing dedicated garden waste collections and 50% providing dedicated food waste collections in 2016/17.

While it is for councils to work with their householders to develop the levels of services required, the Government supports comprehensive collections of materials. In September 2016 the Waste and Resources Action Programme, as part of an industry-led group, published a Framework for Greater Consistency. This outlines a vision where every household in England can recycle a common set of materials including separate food waste.

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