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15 Oct 2002 : Column 582Wcontinued
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tonnage of the domestic waste collection was reused as a raw material in the manufacture of (a) plastic, (b) glass, (c) paper and (d) board in the last recorded 12 month period. 
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what external advice she received regarding a duty on her to fund policies and programmes as a result of the requirement for her to have a 30 per cent. improvement in domestic energy efficiency as a principal aim under Part 1 of the Home Energy Conservation Bill; whether this advice suggests it would be within the terms of the Bill to make progress towards improving energy efficiency by (a) introducing new regulations and (b) energy efficiency programmes funded by bodies other than the Government; if she will place the advice in the Library; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what external advice she has received regarding the compatibility of a requirement for her to have a target as a principal aim when making decisions, as included in the Home Energy Conservation Bill and a requirement to meet that target as a statutory duty; if she will place this advice in the Library; and if she will make a statement. 
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(4) when the hon. Member for Mid Bedfordshire will receive answers to written parliamentary questions 70950, 71005 and 71006, tabled for answer on 19 July. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The Government has not sought any external advice on these matters. However, I am aware that the Bill's promoters sought legal advice on whether having a 30 per cent. improvement as a principal aim would have conferred a lesser obligation than a statutory duty to achieve this level of improvement, and whether it would have imposed any legal requirements on the Government to fund new obligations on local authorities.
We have received our own advice on the implications of having a 30 per cent. improvement in domestic energy efficiency as a principal aim in this Bill. These implications, including those for the Government and local authorities of any energy efficiency targets that the Secretary of State might set, how targets might be achieved, any constraints this might place on local authorities and the potential role of other energy efficiency programmes, have, of course, been discussed with other Government Departments. The Government is committed to funding fully the cost of any new obligations placed on local authorities, although this is not a legal obligation.
The Department has also received correspondence setting out a wide range of views on this and other aspects of the Bill, including from the Local Government Association, local authorities, trade associations, energy efficiency and fuel poverty groups and members of he public.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the total tonnage of waste was collected for recycling in the last recorded 12 month period; and what proportion of that was from (a) domestic and (b) industrial sources. 
Mr. Meacher: Figures from the 200001 Defra Municipal Waste Management Survey show that for England, the latest tonnages of waste of municipal waste collected for recycling or composting were 3,442,000 tonnes, 2,812,000 of which was from household sources.
Figures from the 199899 Environment Agency National Waste Production Survey, the most recent available, show that for England and Wales, 22,100,000 tonnes of industrial waste were recycled or re-used. The proportion of industrial waste recycled or re-used was 44 per cent.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much tonnage was collected from segregated domestic waste broken down by (a) paper, (b) plastic, (c) glass and (d) metals in the last recorded 12 month period. 
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|Material recycled||Tonnages||As a percentage of total household waste|
|Paper and card||910,000||3.6|
|Scrap metal, white goods and cans||336,000||1.3|
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tonnage of collected segregated waste has been (a) landfilled and (b) fly-tipped in the last recorded 12 month period; and what proportion this is of the total waste collected. 
Mr. Meacher: The Sustainable Development in Government report, which replaces the Greening Government reports and is due in November, is intended to give information on the levels of timber and timber products supplied from legal and sustainably managed sources. The Government's future performance and contribution to sustainable development (including procurement) will now be monitored under the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estatethe main vehicle for systematically assessing, managing, reporting and improving performance in operational areas.
Defra also commissioned consultants in October 2000 to undertake a timber scoping study to help buyers more effectively implement the Government's commitment actively to seek to procure its timber and timber products from sustainable and legal sources. Their findings are now being considered in the light of the reports published by the Environmental Audit Committee in July and by stakeholders at an open meeting on 2 September. The policy does not extend beyond central Government, but Defra Ministers and officials have been promoting it to the wider public sector.
Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the steps that are taken to ensure that only sustainable timber is used on public projects. 
Mr. Meacher: Several of the Government's furniture suppliers are switching to certified timber sources as a result of the Government's policy on timber procurement (28 Jul 2000, Official Report, column 947W), the inclusion of these requirements in Departmental contracts and the work of public bodies such as NHS
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Purchasing and Supply Agency. The Office of Government Commerce is reviewing its existing guidance and project management services contracts to draw attention to the Government's policy. Defra has also commissioned consultants to undertake a timber scoping study to help buyers to implement the commitment more effectively. The report on this study addresses, for example, the issue of assessing the credibility of suppliers' claims on the source of the timber supplied and the provision of expert help for buyers. A copy of the scoping study report is on the Tropical Forest Forum's web site. Look in Forum activities/Trade/Timber Trade at http://www.forestforum.org.uk.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the change in the numbers of birds; and what steps are being taken to encourage the growth of the songbird population. 
Mr. Morley: The Department annually monitors the numbers of a whole range of birds, including songbirds, through the Breeding Bird Survey. This survey, conducted and funded jointly by the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, assesses trends in the numbers of common species of birds across the country. A range of other surveys, funded by these organisations, assesses trends in scarcer species. Annual reports are produced for each of the surveys, but summary information derived from them is contained in the report The State of the UK's Birds 2001, which was published on 7 August.
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