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6 Jan 2004 : Column 262Wcontinued
Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the firm concentration ratios, adjusted for buying groups, are for grocery retailers in the European Union. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The latest available estimates of five firm concentration ratios for grocery retailers, adjusted for buying groups, are shown in the following table for individual EU member states and the EU as a whole.
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|Market share (percentage points)|
|EU-15 (weighted average)||60.5|
Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of UK farmers sold direct to retailers in the last month for which figures are available. 
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the change in heavy vehicle traffic with hazardous loads following the implementation of the Hazardous Waste Requirements of the Landfill Directive in July 2004. 
Mr. Morley: My right hon. Friend sees the Secretary of State for Transport frequently during which a range of topics is discussed. From July 2004, hazardous waste going to landfill will have to be treated to reduce its volume and/or its hazardous nature, facilitate its handling or enhance recovery. Over time, implementation of the Landfill Directive will also encourage greater wasteminimisation at source.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the impact of the Hazardous Waste Requirements of the Landfill Directive on residue disposal options for the metal recycling sector. 
Mr. Morley: A number of very constructive meetings have been held with metals recycling interests to discuss disposal of residues. Those interests are also represented on the Hazardous Waste Forum. Options for dealing with residue disposal have been identified and these are being considered by the industry. As the Government is committed to reducing the UK's reliance on landfill, which makes little practical use of waste and is a missed opportunity to recover value from waste, it wishes to do all it can to encourage and support the recycling sector.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the top 20 producers of hazardous waste by mass; and what the extent is of their in-house disposal facilities. 
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Mr. Morley: The top twenty producers of hazardous waste by mass in England and Wales are listed below. The amounts involved are of waste consigned and therefore not going to in-house facilities. Data on waste going to in-house facilities is only held by the Environment Agency in an aggregated form.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the actions taken to meet the hazardous waste requirements of the Landfill Directive by (a) her Department and (b) those departments which previously held responsibility. 
Mr. Morley: Actions taken by this Department and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to implement the 1999 Landfill Directive in England on diverting waste from landfill include:
six rounds of public consultation on aspects of the Landfill Directive;
setting up four stakeholders groupsincluding the Hazardous Waste Forum, and the Landfill Directive Implementation Group which is looking at the implementation of the Council Decision on waste acceptance criteria;
the Hazardous Waste Forum has published an action plan on the reduction and environmentally sound management of hazardous waste;
guidance material issued by the Environment Agency;
organising seminars and taking part in those organised by others (e.g. the Environmental Services Association and the Chemical Industries Association);
bilateral meetings with a wide range of industry and other interests;
commissioning research and other projects (either direct or though the Hazardous Waste Forum or the Environment Agency);
setting up the Waste and Resources Action Programme to develop markets for recycled materials (so diverting waste away from landfill);
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Mr. Morley: The Hazardous Waste Forum is producing an action plan that includes educating waste producers on their responsibilities. The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating waste legislation and it too will seek to ensure that all producers of hazardous waste act in a responsible manner.
Mr. Morley: This information is not available. The Environment Agency collects and records hazardous waste information that is provided by site operators. The Special Waste Regulations 1996 (as amended) do not require producers of special or hazardous waste to record whether or not waste being produced or disposed of is non-reactive.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the delay to the start of the landfill allowance trading scheme until 200506, including reference to the reasons for the delay; what assessment was made of the impact of the delay on the ability of the United Kingdom to meet the targets in the Landfill Directive; and what further steps have been taken to form a policy on whether or not to fine waste disposal authorities that fail to meet their landfill allowance targets. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 9 December 2003]: The decision to delay the implementation of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme until 2005 which was announced by the Minister of State for Local and Regional Government on 19 November 2003, was made to help reduce spending pressures on local government in 200405. It does, however, reflect the views of local authorities which we have received through our consultation on the implementation of the Scheme, that they needed more time to prepare for this new Scheme which is a significant departure from their normal operations. The delay in starting the scheme will mean that waste disposal authorities will have to make steeper annual reductions in the amount of biodegradable waste they landfill in order to meet the first target year of 2010 but they will have more time to plan how to do this.
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Mr. Morley: No. The Government does not consider it appropriate to set a maximum price for allowances as this may lead to market distortion. However, the financial penalty for holding fewer allowances than the amount of biodegradable waste landfilled will act as a de-facto ceiling because local authorities are unlikely to purchase allowances if they cost more than the price of paying the penalty.
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