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Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the (a) public health and (b) environmental effects of fortnightly waste collections; and if he will make a statement. [257065]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 23 February 2009]: In order to help local authorities make informed decisions on waste management, DEFRA funded an independent research study (carried out by Enviros Consulting and Cranfield University) which looked into the environmental and health impacts of waste management, looking in particular at municipal solid waste. The report was published in 2004 and is available on the DEFRA website at this address:

Food

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the value of food (a) spoiled and (b) disposed of in each of the last six years. [257430]


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Jane Kennedy: Data are not available for the value of food spoiled and disposed of in each of the last six years.

However, WRAP undertook research in 2007 to quantify the amounts and types of household food waste produced in the UK.

According to research conducted in 2007, the estimated total annual cost of household food waste (avoidable and unavoidable) is £14.4 billion per year. The estimated annual cost of avoidable household food waste is £10.2 billion.

Foot and Mouth Disease

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what legal costs were incurred by his Department in relation to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in (a) 2001 and (b) 2007. [257429]

Jane Kennedy: The resources needed to obtain the information in relation to the legal cost incurred by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, following the Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak in 2001, would be disproportionate and over the £750 threshold.

The legal cost incurred by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, so far, following the Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak 2007 is £27,030.05.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) lowest, (b) highest, (c) median and (d) mean monetary value of compensation claims awarded following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2007 was. [257435]

Jane Kennedy: The monetary value of compensation awarded as a result of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2007 is as follows:

£

Lowest

75

Highest

94,500

Median

41,714

Mean

21,453


The compensation payable in such circumstances is set out in section 31(c) and in schedule 3, paragraph 3(5) of the Animal Health Act 1981. These provide that Government must pay compensation at the value of the animals immediately before they became infected or were killed. Each animal was assessed by an independent valuer or official veterinarian prior to being culled and this valuation formed the basis of the compensation paid to the owner. Some businesses will have received more than one award.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government’s policy is on encouraging applications by growers to be recognised as producer organisations for the purposes of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme. [252580]


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Jane Kennedy: The rural payments agency (RPA) publish comprehensive guidance about the scheme on their website, including information for prospective applicants. DEFRA, in conjunction with the devolved administrations and with the industry itself, has drawn up a national strategy in order to provide detailed advice that producer organisations (POs) can adopt with the aim of developing their businesses and gaining funding under the scheme. One of its aims is that this advice will encourage more growers to seek recognition under the scheme, either as new POs or as new members of existing ones. More generally, it is one of DEFRA’s aims to encourage greater collaboration across the food chain. We have commissioned English Farming and Food Partnerships to undertake work to promote awareness and interest in the scheme with a view to encouraging greater uptake.

Fuels

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the potential use of used cooking oil as a secondary fuel for use in static generator engines. [258232]

Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has made funding available to enable the Environment Agency to develop an end-of-waste protocol for waste cooking oil. Waste cooking oil which is treated to the standards set out in the protocol is accepted by the Agency to have been fully recovered and to have ceased to be waste. However this protocol only applies to biodiesel for use in automotive engines.

Landfill

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the amount of food waste that goes to landfill each year. [258004]

Jane Kennedy: The DEFRA-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) does not have data for the total amount of food waste that goes to landfill every year.

However, WRAP undertook research in 2007 to quantify the amounts and types of household food waste produced in the UK. According to its report, “The Food We Waste”, UK households waste 6.7 million tonnes of food every year: around one third of the 21.7 million tonnes we purchase.

Meat: Imports

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what legislation governs levels of hormones in meat imported into the UK. [257801]

Jane Kennedy: EU Council Directive 96/23 lays down measures to monitor certain substances and residues in animals and animal products. In terms of import controls this is implemented in England through the Products of Animal Origin Regulations (Third Country Imports) (England) 2006. The devolved Authorities have their versions of the Products of Animal Origin Regulations.


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Metals: Recycling

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of (a) the number of metal recycling sites affected by proposals to remove their exemptions from full environmental permitting, (b) the number of such sites which will (i) incur additional costs and (ii) risk closure under the proposals and (c) the cost to each site of obtaining the necessary planning approvals for their operations under the proposals. [257395]

Jane Kennedy: In England and Wales there are currently 1,893 sites operating under the existing exemption from environmental permitting which applies to the recovery of scrap metal or the dismantling of motor vehicles.

Under the proposed amendments to the exemptions from environmental permitting which the Department put out for consultation last year, and using best available information, it is estimated that about one third of scrap metal sites which are currently exempt might need to apply for an environmental permit. No decisions have yet been taken on the outcome of the consultation process, and until the exemption thresholds are finalised, it is not possible to determine precisely how many scrap metal sites would require an environmental permit and associated planning approval in the future. Any additional costs incurred by such sites would vary, depending on the particular circumstances of each site.

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Environment Agency takes to inspect businesses engaged in scrap metal (a) recovery and (b) treatment for compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007; what steps it takes to prosecute businesses which do not comply with the regulations; and what its budget for such enforcement activity for 2008-09 is. [257396]

Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency’s inspection regime for those scrap metal sites which require an environmental permit is determined by an Operator Pollution Risk Appraisal (OPRA), which assesses the environmental risks and hazards posed by and associated with an activity and how well they are being managed. Those scrap metal sites which qualify for an exemption from the need for an environmental permit are inspected on an annual basis.

Between April and December 2008, 97 scrap metal and end of life vehicles sites were subject to intervention by the Environment Agency including enforcement. This included shutting 78 sites down and bringing 19 sites into compliance. Sites which represent the highest environmental risk are dealt with as a matter of priority. During 2008, the Environment Agency carried out 14 prosecutions against operators treating, keeping, or storing waste illegally or breaching permit conditions involving metals and end of life vehicles only.

The Environment Agency works in partnership with the major trade associations, police forces, Home Office, DVLA, DEFRA and BERR in tackling waste crime. The agency spends about £15 million a year tackling illegal waste activity, which includes fly tipping and illegal wastes sites. It is not possible to say how much of this spend relates to scrap metal sites.


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Pigmeat

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what guidance is given under the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative to purchasers of pork in the public sector on procurement of pork products bearing the quality standard mark; [255347]

(2) when he last reviewed Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative guidance on pork purchases. [255348]

Jane Kennedy: The Department continues to update and improve the guidance on pork purchases provided under the PSFPI. On 19 January 2009 we published and disseminated a notice alerting public sector bodies to the EU ban on sow stalls from 2013 and its implications for the procurement of pork and pig meat products. This can be viewed on the PSFPI website at:

Work is in progress to develop a model specification for the procurement of pork and bacon which will provide additional guidance on the appropriate use of quality standards for the procurement of pork products.

Recycling: Local Government

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which 10 local authorities had the (a) highest and (b) lowest rate of (i) materials recycled, (ii) waste sent to landfill and (iii) production of energy from waste in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [254405]

Jane Kennedy: The requested information is available on DEFRA’s website.

Renewable Energy: Waste

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated to compare the different processes used in the extraction of energy from waste; and if he will make a statement. [256952]

Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has commissioned the following research projects which compare different processes used in the extraction of energy from waste:


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Of the aforementioned, two projects are complete (WR0602, WR0609); of which WR0602 has been evaluated through a peer review.

Project reports from the completed projects have been published on the DEFRA website and reports from the ongoing projects will be published in due course.

International Development

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of short-term projects set up in Afghanistan to aid reconstruction. [258639]

Mr. Michael Foster: The information requested could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

Central African Republic: Overseas Aid

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding has been provided by his Department to the Central African Republic in each of the last three years; and what funding is planned in each of the next three financial years. [255308]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Details on the Department for International Development’s (DFID) bilateral expenditure and imputed share of multilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) are contained in the DFID publication ‘Statistics on International Development’. This publication is available from in the Library and online at:

Relevant figures are produced in the table.

The Central African Republic does not have an individual allocation for funding over the next three years, as it is part of a wider regional programme. Allocations are made according to needs, and it is at this stage too early to sub-divide the main allocation.

DFID expenditure in the Central African Republic, 2005-06 to 2007-08
£000

DFID bilateral expenditure DFID imputed multilateral shares

2005-06

2,320

2006-06

2,197

12,535

2007-08

1,134

5,816


Departmental Accountancy

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff were employed by his Department’s Internal Audit Department in each financial year since 1997-98. [258017]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development’s (DFID) Internal Audit Department (IAD) employed the following numbers of staff from 2004-05 onwards:


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Number

2004-05

16

2005-06

17

2006-07

18

2007-08

15

2008-09 (to date)

17


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