Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Fifth Report


6. As already noted, we discussed Sustainable Waste Management at considerable length in 1998. In May 2000, the Government unveiled its Waste Strategy 2000 and we considered this to be an appropriate point to revisit this subject. Our terms of reference were to examine whether the policies set out in the Waste Strategy 2000 are sufficient to deliver sustainable waste management, and whether the necessary measures, including provision of financial resources, were in place for those policies to be implemented. Specifically, we asked whether the Government's Waste Strategy 2000, as it applies to central government, local authorities and other public and private bodies, would result in:

  • more efficient use of resources and a consequent reduction in the amount of material entering the waste stream;

  • an increase in recycling of waste, particularly by greater development of markets for recycled material (including compost) and the use of producer responsibility measures;

  • increased use of incineration as a waste disposal/recovery option and what the implications of such an increase would be;

  • a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill and the effects of the Landfill Tax and its associated Credit Scheme;

  • a reduction in, and better management of, hazardous waste;

  • significant action to improve the example set by Government in exercising 'green' procurement policies; and

  • sufficient action to educate the public about the importance of sustainable waste management.

14. In response, we received 123 memoranda of evidence and held eight oral evidence sessions in the final three months of the year 2000. During the course of the inquiry, we heard from the full range of those involved in waste management. We were enthusiastically and ably assisted by Dr Dominic Hogg of Eonomia Research and Consulting and David Mansell, our specialist advisers, and we offer them our thanks.

15. Waste management is a complex and sprawling subject and we neither attempted to cover all aspects, nor to replicate our 1998 inquiry. As such, this Report does not attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of waste management but rather focuses on those areas we examined during our inquiry. We particularly concentrate on those areas where change is necessary and, in most cases, heavily overdue.

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