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|(ii) Dairy Hygiene Inspectorates|
|(ii) Egg Marketing Inspectorate|
|(iii) Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service|
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) incentives and (b) penalties his Department has put in place to encourage local authorities to reduce their waste collection volumes. 
BVPIs have statutory performance targets and are monitored by the Audit Commission. As a standardised suite of performance indicators, BVPIs help central Government and the public to monitor, analyse and compare the achievements of a local authority.
Action to reduce the amount of waste produced in the first instance, and therefore collected by local authorities, is driven by regional and local strategies and supported by nationally funded programmes.
In addition, the Government are providing funding and support to local authorities to help them promote and develop more sustainable waste management practices such as recycling, reuse and waste minimisation.
The Waste Minimisation Programme run by the Defra-funded Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) is working to stem the growth of household waste. This is part of a package of measures to enable the UK to meet the requirements of the landfill directive and move towards sustainable waste management.
As part of the Waste Minimisation Programme, WRAP is working with 13 major retailers to reduce the amount of waste from supermarkets. This includes looking at ways to redesign packaging as well as providing support for research and development into waste minimisation. It is also working with local authorities to establish greater participation in recycling and home composting. This is achieved by WRAP through a variety of means, for example through local authority advice and training; food waste collection trials with selected local authorities; funding support for local authority campaigns to boost recycling participation in their areas; and a targeted National Home Composting Programme.
The review of England's Waste Strategy, due to be published on 24 May will also put forward a range of measures to reduce household waste and build on recent improvements in household recycling. The consultation on the review proposed target increases for household waste recycling to 40 per cent. by 2010, 45 per cent. by 2015 and 50 per cent. by 2020.
Local authorities have received £45 million in 2005-06, £105 million in 2006-07 and £110 million in 2007-08 under the waste performance and efficiency grant to help them develop new and more efficient ways to deliver waste reduction and increase recycling.
There are no specific penalties to encourage local authorities to reduce their collected waste volumes. The Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme (LATS) places limits on the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that local authorities can landfill. Local authorities
that exceed limits are liable to a penalty of £150 per tonne. Minimising municipal waste arisings helps local authorities meet their LATS obligations and so avoid penalties.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of UK recyclable waste was exported to (a) China and (b) other countries by (i) ship and (ii) other forms of transport in the latest year for which figures are available; what tonnage this represented; and what controls or restrictions are placed on the end disposal of exported waste. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Where non-hazardous waste (such as separated recyclables) are exported, they are generally subject only to commercial controls, not to the prior notification and consent procedures which apply to exports of hazardous waste. They are, therefore, not notified and precise data are not available. However, HM Revenue and Customs indicative overseas trade statistics show that, of the waste metal, paper, plastic and glass cullet and their associated scraps exported from the UK in 2006, 19 per cent. was destined for China. The tonnages for China that year were 2,430,618 against a figure for all exports of 12,735,753.
We are unable to provide exact data on the method of transport used to export waste. However, most waste is transported by sea. Until it reaches the UK port, this transport would probably be by road. Upon reaching its port of destination, the method of transport is likely to be road, rail or inland waterway. Air transport is generally uneconomic for wastes, given their low cost and bulky characteristics.
Exports of waste from the UK for disposal are prohibited. However, certain non-hazardous wastes such as paper, glass and plastic can be exported for recovery or recycling, provided the wastes are destined for genuine and environmentally sound recovery operations. This would include the management of any minimal residues from recovery that require disposal. Such disposal would also need to be consistent with environmentally sound management in any country of destination.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on (a) travel, (b) accommodation and (c) hospitality in relation to those people funded by the Northern Ireland Office to attend the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the United States in each year since 1997; and how many people attended at his Department's expense in that period. 
|Number attending||Travel cost (£)||Accommodation and hospitality cost (£)|
|(1) Information is not readily available except at disproportionate cost.|
(2) Not all the costs associated with the officials and representatives travelling from Northern Ireland to events at the Whitehouse around 17 March 2006 are known. However the following can be advised:
These costs relate to expenses occurred in respect of the Secretary of State and officials from the Northern Ireland Office and the devolved Administration.
(3) Invoice/accounts not yet available.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Department; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. 
Mr. Hain: As at 1 April 2007, the agencies and consultancies shown in the following table are undertaking work commissioned by my Department and its agencies. The table also provides information on the purpose and cost of each commission.
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