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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is towards bye-law applications seeking to ban dogs from (a) beaches, (b) public parks and (c) other areas; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Local authorities are able to apply to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the confirmation of bye-laws to control dogs. These bye-laws can ban dogs from (a) beaches, (b) public parks and (c) other areas.
In considering bye-laws for confirmation the Secretary of State must be satisfied that the proposals are reasonable. All dog ban areas must be fully enclosed and gated. This should not only prevent stray dogs from entering, but provide a physical barrier to make it clear to dog owners where the ban area begins and end. The maximum fine under bye-laws is £500.
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Application of a dog ban bye-law is likely to be considered unreasonable if there are no alternative areas locally where dogs can be exercised freely. It is a matter for each local authority to decide if they wish to adopt bye-laws in the light of local priorities and resources.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many bye-law applications from local authorities her Department has turned down that sought to ban dogs from (a) beaches, (b) public parks and (c) other areas, for each of the last five years, indicating her reasons for those decisions. 
Mr. Meacher: Details on the number of bye-law applications from local authorities that have been turned down that sought to ban dogs from (a) beaches, (b) public parks and (c) other areas is only available since July 1999. Since this time, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has rejected three dog ban bye-law applications on procedural grounds.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incinerators have been built in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: There are many hundreds of incinerators for sewage sludge, hazardous waste, clinical waste, production waste from factories, etc. Generally, the larger plant are regulated by the Environment Agency and details of their locations are available on the Environment Agency's public register. Other plant that are part of another process regulated by the Agency may not be shown separately on the register. Smaller plant are regulated by local authorities.
The Environment Agency reports that there are 11 municipal waste incinerators currently operational in England. Some of these are newly built and some were refurbished to meet new emission standards introduced in 1996. The Environment Agency does not keep records of when plant are built but it is believed that in the last five years the numbers of incinerators starting or restarting (following refurbishment) are:
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government have to change the amount of household municipal waste generated in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Tackling the amount of waste produced is the first priority in the hierarchy for waste management decisions set out in the Government's Waste Strategy 2000. Measures aimed at encouraging waste minimisation include Government support for the National Waste
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Awareness Initiative to encourage householders to reduce their household waste and guidance to local authorities on their powers under the Waste Minimisation Act 1998.
The Government have implemented the Packaging Directive and a voluntary agreement on newsprint. Further legislation on electrical and electronic equipment and batteries will follow and a voluntary agreement on direct mail and promotions (junk mail) is planned. These are all designed to reduce the amount of waste arising from these products and their impact on the household waste stream.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to (a) strengthen regulations and (b) transpose European Community directives with regard to waste incineration; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC) requires transposition by 28 December 2002. The Directive sets challenging targets which will apply to new incinerators from 28 December 2002 and to existing incinerators from 28 December 2005. Options for implementation, including proposals for amending regulations, are being developed, and will be consulted on in due course.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to alter paragraph 19 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: We are currently reviewing several of the exemptions provided in Regulation 17 of and Schedule 3 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994, including two exemptions subject to allegations of abuse (paragraphs 9 and 19). We propose to amend these exemptions to encourage genuine waste recovery operations, to preclude their use for "sham recovery", and to ensure that human health and the environment are protected.
We intend to issue a consultation paper with draft regulations later this year.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the implications are for her policy on waste disposal of the recent court case against London Waste. 
Mr. Meacher: Neither the Environment Agency nor my Department are aware of any court cases against London Waste in the last three years.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on proposed EU plans to prohibit the recycling of milk bottles. 
Mr. Meacher: We are not aware of any such proposals.
The EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC, as well as requiring certain recovery and recycling targets to be met, also encourages re-use of packaging. This includes drinks containers such as milk bottles. The UK Regulations implementing the Directive
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also encourage re-use by allowing obligated businesses to exclude from the calculation of their tonnage recovery and recycling obligation, tonnages of packaging that are being re-used. Milk bottles are re-used for between 10 and 40 trips, so this provision will apply to the proportion of milk bottles that are being reused.
We expect a proposal from the European Commission next month for revised targets in 2006. A further review may also address, among other things, ways of further encouraging re-use of packaging. We are not aware that the proposed revisions will in any way threaten the UK doorstep milk delivery service.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to encourage the use of reconstituted building materials. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 23 October 2001]: I have been asked to reply.
The Government published their strategy for more sustainable construction, "Building a Better Quality of Life", in April 2000. Last week we published a review of progress 'Building a better quality of lifea strategy for more sustainable construction: Report on Progress 20001', which is available on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/ construction/sustain/sustainableconstruction.htm
One of the priorities identified in the strategy is the need to minimise the impact on the consumption of natural resources through the reduction in waste. The re-use and recycling of waste, often as building materials, is encouraged through a number of economic instruments such as the landfill tax, the forthcoming aggregates levy and the climate change levy. These measures promote the use of reconstituted building materials in construction by encouraging the minimisation of waste going to landfill and reducing the demand for primary aggregates.
My Department also commissions researchmuch of it in collaboration with the industryinto the re-use and recycling of waste materials in construction.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of retailed chickens were positive for (a) campylobacter and (b) campylobacter serotypes of public health significance in the last 12 months. 
Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.
A survey of chicken on retail sale in the United Kingdom conducted this year on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found 50 per cent. of retailed chickens were positive for campylobacter. Preliminary results of the survey can be found on the FSA's website (www.foodstandards.gov.uk/news/chicken.htm). The identification of the campylobacter serotypes will not be complete until spring 2002.
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