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Western Riverside Waste Authority (+ 4)
Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Waste and Resources Action Programme in meeting its objectives; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The Government-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) sets itself targetswhich are agreed with its funders, DEFRA and the devolved Governmentsand these are written into each of its business plans. WRAPs fourth business plan was published earlier this year, and sets out its targets for the three-year period from April 2008 to March 2011.
The extent of WRAPs delivery against its targets is set out annually in reports which are published by WRAP, and are publicly available on its website. The next such report will be published in October, and will set out how WRAP has performed against the targets contained in its third business plan, which covered the period April 2006 to March 2008.
Prior to the publication of that report, it is possible, on the basis of WRAPs annual review for 2006-07, to report that WRAP has made it possible for the recycling industry to process an extra 5.8 million tonnes of materials per year. This consists of 4.17 million tonnes of aggregate; enough to build 83,000 new homes, 507,000 tonnes of wood, constituting 42 per cent. of the UKs domestic capacity, 495,000 tonnes of paper, 349,000 tonnes of compost, 137,000 tonnes of glass and 130,000 tonnes of plastic, enough to make 2.8 billion milk bottles.
The benefits of WRAPs work in terms of the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) are also significant. Since WRAP started work in 2001 it is estimated that the combined impact of its activities has saved over 1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gasesthe same as taking 316,000 cars off the road. Over the lifetime of the projects that WRAP has directly supported, over 12 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases will be saved.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which councils have received funding from the Waste and Resources Action Programmes local communications fund; and how much each received. 
Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) on 14 January 2008, Official Repor t, column 862W. The position is unchanged as the Waste and Resources Action Programme has not signed any new contracts since January 2008.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what external (a) public affairs and (b) public relations work the Waste and Resources Action Programme has commissioned in the last 24 months; from which companies or consultants; and at what cost to the public purse. 
Hilary Benn: The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) commissions external public relations agencies to communicate its research, advice and consumer campaigns to a wide range of target audiences, both business and consumer. The expenditure is predominantly in support of WRAPs national consumer behaviour-change campaigns: Recycle Now, Love Food Hate Waste and the programme to support home composting.
WRAP ensures that public relations activity is a cost-effective use of taxpayers funds. For example, public relations spend of £36,000 to launch The Food We Waste report in May this year delivered national and regional media coverage with an advertising value equivalent of £1.995 million, equal to the entire annual communications budget for WRAPs Food Waste campaign.
Public relations material produced for the consumer campaigns provides local authorities with valuable free support to help them meet recycling and waste minimisation targets. These campaigns have been highly successful over this period: the number of committed recycler households in England has increased by 3.9 million, unnecessary food waste has been reduced by more than 100,000 tonnes and almost two million compost bins have been sold through the home composting programme.
During 2007-08, expenditure on external public relations agencies was £3.1 million, representing 4.3 per cent. of WRAPs budget for that year. In the current financial year (2008-09), the planned expenditure in this area is £2.9 million, representing 5 per cent. of the overall budget for the year. It should be noted that WRAPs 2008-09 budget is significantly lower than the budget for 2007-08, which is why the expenditure on PR agencies in 2008-09, although lower than the figure for 2007-08, represents a higher proportion of this years budget.
The firms employed to support WRAP over this period who are currently on the roster are 3 Monkeys, Ptarmigan, Tri-Media Harrison Cowley, Camargue, Bray Leino PR, and Fishburn Hedges. Firms no longer on the roster are Pelican PR, Lawton PR, Grayling, Proteus PR, Consolidated PR, and Kinross and Render.
During this period WRAP commissioned one piece of external public affairs support. Now completed, this six-month project was to engage public policy makers and opinion formers from outside WRAPs established stakeholder groups to discuss a range of developing resource efficiency issues on which WRAP is working. Chelgate Ltd was engaged at a cost of £25,000.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of whether the implementation of the EU Waste Framework Directive will affect the number of councils which operate a fortnightly rubbish collection service; 
Hilary Benn: The forthcoming changes to the EU Waste Framework Directive, which are expected to be adopted in October 2008 and come into force towards the end of 2010, do not affect the frequency with which councils should collect household waste. That will remain, as now, a matter for councils to decide for themselves.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs representatives of which organisations attended the launch by his Department of the guidance on waste incentive schemes in London on 19 June 2008. 
Friends of the Earth
County Surveyors Society
National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO)
Community Recycling Network UK
The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)
Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
Absorbent Hygiene Products Manufacturers Association (AHPMA)
Local Government Association.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions there have been for waste disposal offences in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) type of offence and (b) police force area. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 15 September 2008]: Information on the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, broken down by police force area and offence in England and Wales from 1997 to 2006, is set out in the following tables. Court proceedings data for 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.
|Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, in England and Wales, broken down by police force area( 1) and offence, 1997 to 2006( 2, 3)|
|Contravening conditions of a waste management licence, section 33(6)|
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