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12 Dec 2005 : Column 1603W—continued

Sheep Movement Restrictions

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what total
 
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compensation has been paid to date to United Kingdom farmers as a result of economic losses from restrictions on sheep movements. [35833]

Mr. Bradshaw: It is not Government policy to compensate for economic losses as a result of animal movement restrictions to safeguard animal health.

Sites of Nature Conservation Importance

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the site of nature conservation importance designation in protecting such sites; and if she will make a statement. [36453]

Jim Knight: Sites of nature conservation importance or other similar non-statutory designations, which we refer to generically as local sites, contribute significantly to delivering both UK and local biodiversity and geodiversity action plan targets. It is understood that there are over 35,000 local sites throughout the country.

The Government have re-affirmed the importance of the contribution such sites can make to our overall biodiversity objectives in the revised planning statement, Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation" published in August this year. The planning statement states that local authorities should establish criteria-based policies in local development documents against which proposals for any development on, or affecting, such sites will be judged. These policies should be distinguished from those applied to the nationally important statutory sites.

In the new year, we also plan to publish guidance, developed with stakeholders, on the process for identification of these sites and the operation of partnerships concerned with local sites systems.

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice her Department has received from English Nature regarding sites of nature conservation importance and similar conservation designations. [36454]

Jim Knight: In consultation with stakeholders, my officials and English Nature have been drawing up good practice guidance on the process for identification of sites of nature conservation importance, which along with similar terms, we refer to generically as local sites. The guidance will also offer advice on the operation of partnerships concerned with administering local sites systems.

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is permissible for a local authority to rescind site of nature conservation importance status as a result of ecological degradation caused by the action or neglect of the owner or tenants of the protected site. [36455]

Jim Knight: Sites of nature conservation importance form part of the group of non-statutory designations generically referred to as local sites, and may be de-selected if their nature conservation interest deteriorates to such an extent that they no longer qualify as local sites. Government guidance on local sites, which will be produced in the new year, will suggest that where a site
 
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has degraded, the potential for restoring the site's features of interest should be a consideration in determining whether a site should be de-selected.

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill will strengthen the protection provided by (a) site of nature conservation importance and (b) similar designations; and whether the Government have further plans to strengthen such protection. [36456]

Jim Knight: There are no specific measures in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill concerning sites of nature conservation importance or other similar non-statutory designations which we refer to generically as local sites. However, Natural England will have a broad purpose and range of powers relating to conservation of the natural environment, including a power to enter into management agreements with any person on any land if it would further its general purpose.

The Government have re-affirmed the importance of the contribution such sites can make to our overall biodiversity objectives in the revised planning statement: Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation' published in August this year.

In the new year, we also plan to publish guidance, developed with stakeholders, on the process for identification of such sites and the operation of partnerships concerned with local sites systems.

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition requirements take into account Site of Nature Conservation Importance status. [36457]

Jim Knight: Land managers claiming the single payment are obliged to meet the relevant Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) and to maintain
 
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their land in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC). The SMR and GAEC standards do not contain specific standards relating to the non-statutory Sites of Nature Conservation Importance. However the overall range of measures, especially those designed to achieve soil management and protection, and maintenance of habitats and landscape features, are expected to contribute to the conservation of interests within Site of Nature Conservation Importance.

Waste Management

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is for (a) each borough in Essex and (b) each London borough of the proportion of (i) household and (ii)industrial waste that was (A) recycled, (B) disposed of by incineration and (C) disposed of by landfill in each of the past five years. [34316]

Mr. Bradshaw: Data on the disposal of municipal waste are collected through the Municipal Waste Management Survey for England. The disposal of household waste is not disaggregated from municipal waste, however as household waste is the major constituent of municipal waste (comprising around 87 per cent. of all municipal waste), data for the disposal of municipal waste are a good approximation to household waste. The proportion of municipal waste by disposal route for the most recent five years, is in table 1. Data are presented for each waste disposal authority and unitary authority in Essex and London, which is the lowest level of detail available.

Data for the disposal of industrial waste are available for Government office regions only, and these are presented in table 2. Data are available for 1998–99 and 2002–03. Industrial waste is defined as waste from manufacturing, and oil, gas electricity and water supply sectors, but the data for 1998–99 also include waste from the transport, storage and communications sectors, and from hospitals. The data for the two years are therefore not directly comparable.
Table 1
Percentage

1999–2000
Government office regionLA nameLA typeRecycled and reusedLandfilledIncinerated
EasternThurrock CouncilU1090
EasternSouthend-on-Sea BCU17830
EasternEssex County CouncilD1783
LondonBexley LBU193447
LondonTower Hamlets LBU3970
LondonLondon CorporationU199
LondonWestminster City CouncilU44254
LondonEast London Waste AuthorityD4879
LondonNorth London Waste AuthorityD74549
LondonSouthwark LBU3935
LondonLewisham LBU4394
LondonGreenwich LBU63955
LondonSutton LBU2674
LondonMerton LBU1288
LondonKingston-upon-Thames LBU1684
LondonCroydon LBU9892
LondonBromley LBU11890
LondonWest London Waste AuthorityD9910
LondonWestern Riverside Waste AuthorityD892









 
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2000–01
Government office regionLA nameLA typeRecycled and reusedLandfilledIncinerated
EasternThurrock CouncilU1684
EasternSouthend-on-Sea BCU22780
EasternEssex County CouncilD2179
LondonBexley LBU194241
LondonTower Hamlets LBU2980
LondonLondon CorporationU298
LondonWestminster City CouncilU44154
LondonEast London Waste AuthorityD58610
LondonNorth London Waste AuthorityD94151
LondonSouthwark LBU28315
LondonLewisham LBU41284
LondonGreenwich LBU52173
LondonSutton LBU2278
LondonMerton LBU1486
LondonKingston-upon-Thames LBU1684
LondonCroydon LBU10900
LondonBromley LBU1288
LondonWest London Waste AuthorityD9910
LondonWestern Riverside Waste AuthorityD793

2001–02
Government office regionLA nameLA typeRecycled and reusedLandfilledIncinerated
EasternThurrock CouncilU1981
EasternSouthend-on-Sea BCU20800
EasternEssex County CouncilD2377
LondonBexley LBU186219
LondonTower Hamlets LBU2980
LondonLondon CorporationU199
LondonWestminster City CouncilU54055
LondonEast London Waste AuthorityD58411
LondonNorth London Waste AuthorityD74944
LondonSouthwark LBU36928
LondonLewisham LBU61480
LondonGreenwich LBU63856
LondonSutton LBU1585
LondonMerton LBU12871
LondonKingston-upon-Thames LBU1684
LondonCroydon LBU9910
LondonBromley LBU12871
LondonWest London Waste AuthorityD10900
LondonWestern Riverside Waste AuthorityD8920

2002–03
Government office regionLA nameLA typeRecycled and reusedLandfilledIncinerated
EasternThurrock CouncilU1783
EasternSouthend-on-Sea BCU22780
EasternEssex County CouncilD2575
LondonBexley LBU20773
LondonTower Hamlets LBU3970
LondonLondon CorporationU1990
LondonWestminster City CouncilU53560
LondonEast London Waste AuthorityD5878
LondonNorth London Waste AuthorityD94844
LondonSouthwark LBU47125
LondonLewisham LBU7885
LondonGreenwich LBU71974
LondonSutton LBU1882
LondonMerton LBU12880
LondonKingston-upon-Thames LBU1684
LondonCroydon LBU13870
LondonBromley LBU136522
LondonWest London Waste AuthorityD12880
LondonWestern Riverside Waste AuthorityD8911









 
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2003–04
Government office regionLA nameLA typeRecycled and reusedLandfilledIncinerated
EasternThurrock CouncilU1585
EasternSouthend-on-Sea BCU22780
EasternEssex County CouncilD2674
LondonBexley LBU20727
LondonTower Hamlets LBU496
LondonLondon CorporationU199
LondonWestminster City CouncilU63361
LondonEast London Waste AuthorityD7857
LondonNorth London Waste AuthorityD114841
LondonSouthwark LBU77023
LondonLewisham LBU71974
LondonGreenwich LBU102663
LondonSutton LBU2674
LondonMerton LBU12880
LondonKingston-upon-Thames LBU1981
LondonCroydon LBU13860
LondonBromley LBU175825
LondonWest London Waste AuthorityD14860
LondonWestern Riverside Waste AuthorityD11890




Source:
DEFRA Municipal Waste Management Survey





Table 2
Percentage

1998–99
2002–03
Industrial wasteLandfilledRecycled and reusedIncineratedLandfilledRecycled and reusedIncinerated
East of England4736230505
London4140330614




Source:
Environment Agency Survey of Commercial and Industrial Waste




Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to develop a quality protocol for certified compost material to enable it to be defined as a product rather than waste. [31618]

Mr. Bradshaw: The definition of waste in force in the United Kingdom is the definition in Article 1(a) of the Waste Framework Directive (as amended). Whether or not a substance is discarded as waste, and when waste ceases to be waste, are matters which must be determined on the facts of the case and the interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued several judgments on the definition of waste which are binding on member states and their competent authorities". The composting of waste is classified as a waste recovery operation under the Directive. This means that composting must be carried out under the terms of a waste management licence issued by, or a waste management licensing exemption registered with, the Environment Agency (England and Wales).

The ECJ has ruled that

In practice, this means that waste does not cease to be waste until it has undergone a complete recovery operation and has been fully recovered within the meaning of the directive. A complete recovery operation is one which has the effect of transforming waste into a product which is wholly interchangeable with another
 
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product and requires no additional regulation or supervision beyond that applicable to the product which it is replacing. Waste has not undergone a complete recovery operation if, after the operation has been carried out, it continues to present a danger typical of waste (e.g. it continues to be contaminated).

The Environment Agency considers that (a) source-segregated waste which, after composting, meets a recognised and suitable quality standard (e.g. BSI PAS 100) is likely to be fully recovered within the meaning of the directive; and (b) mixed waste which is composted is likely to remain waste until it is used in a further recovery operation (e.g. land treatment resulting in agricultural benefit or ecological improvement subject to control by the Agency under a licence or registered licensing exemption). These considerations are being taken into account in work currently being undertaken by the Environment Agency and the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on the development of a quality protocol for waste composting.

The Department supports the development of such protocols at national level and advocates their development at a European Union level. A key objective of our doing so is to enable our competent authorities, and those engaged in the recovery of waste, to determine with a high degree of certainty the point at which waste has been fully recovered for the purposes of the Waste Framework Directive and has ceased to be waste. This was reflected in the UK's response of 15 February 2005 to the European Commission's questionnaire on possible amendments to the directive linked to the Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of
 
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waste. In its response, the UK identified municipal/household waste which is recovered by means of composting or other biological transformation processes as a priority waste stream in this context. TheUK's response is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/thematicstrat/questionnaire-ukresponse.pdf


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