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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Interdepartmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking was established at the beginning of 2005 and meets on a quarterly basis. It has oversight of government policy on human trafficking and recently approved the content of the UK Action Plan on human trafficking which was published on the 23 March 2007.
The UK Action Plan pulls together all the work that is currently underway across Government to tackle human trafficking and sets out what else we plan to do. It applies to all forms of human trafficking, including trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labour and child trafficking.
Lord Rooker: The Police Ombudsman has confirmed that work by her office over the past six years has led to three indictable cases against former members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary coming to court.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): This is not the case. The £14 billion figure quoted by the Chief Information Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions refers to an independent estimate of the total IT expenditure across the public sector for 2005-06. This figure includes annual running costs on operational systems and processes as well as expenditure on projects. The Government's transformational government annual report, published in January 2007, estimated that public sector annual IT expenditure was £12.4 billion for 2005-06.
How many London boroughs, on present plans, will meet the London Plan target of recycling 45 per cent of municipal waste by 2020; what the current position is for London overall on progress towards that target; and how much improvement there has been in the past three years. [HL3776]
However, I am pleased to report that London's household recycling rate has more than doubled since 2001. Many of the London authorities have already achieved recycling and composting rates which exceed, or are equal to, the Government's 2007-08 targets. The Government and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) are targeting engagement and support in order to improve the recycling rates of the poorest performing local authorities.
The table below shows the marked improvement in the amount of municipal waste recycled in London over the past three years. Municipal waste is mainly household waste, but also includes any other waste collected by municipal waste authorities.
|Source: Defra municipal waste statistics|
What percentage of London's waste is burned in landfill sites compared with the national average for all English authorities using the latest available information; what percentage of that waste is burned in sites within the area of the Greater London Authority; how the percentage burned within London compares to that in Greater Manchester and Birmingham; and what plans exist to increase the percentage burned within London by 2010 and 2013. [HL3779]
Lord Rooker: As no waste is burned in landfill sites, I assume the noble Lord means buried. For the sake of clarity and context, information on both the landfilling and incineration of waste is set out below.
London landfilled about 2.7 million tonnes of municipal waste in 2005-06this is 64 per cent of the total municipal waste of 4.2 million tonnes. A further 0.77 million tonnes (18 per cent) was incinerated. This compares to national figures of 62 per cent landfill and 10 per cent incineration for municipal waste.
In 2005-06, about 0.3 million tonnes of London's municipal waste (12 per cent of that landfilled or 7 per cent of the total) was landfilled and 100 per cent of incinerated waste was incinerated within the area of the Greater London Authority.
Greater Manchester incinerates 8 per cent of municipal waste and landfills 69 per cent, while Birmingham incinerates 64 per cent and landfills 20 per cent. As Greater Manchester and Birmingham are not government regions, it is useful to note for comparison that the north-west region incinerates 3 per cent and landfills 70 per cent and the West Midlands region incinerates 31 per cent and landfills 44 per cent of municipal waste. Table A, below, contains further information.
The Environment Agency is not aware of any definite plans to increase landfill capacity in London. However, it is expected that a new 585,000-tonne capacity incinerator will be built in the London Borough of Bexley during the next three years. This will help London achieve its landfill allowance targets in 2010 and 2013.
The above figures all refer to municipal waste. However, in London, non-municipal waste is around 14 million tonnes. In all, about 6.6 million tonnes of London's total waste is landfilled. Around 1.3 million tonnes (19 per cent) is landfilled within London and the remaining 5.3 million tonnes (81 per cent) is disposed of at landfills mainly in adjacent regions.
|Management of municipal waste 2005-06 (thousands tonnes)|
|Authority||London||England||Birmingham||West Midlands||Greater Manchester||North West|
Why separating waste collection and contracting for waste disposal is inappropriate in London when a two-tier system exists outside London and produces higher levels of recycling and greater landfill self-sufficiency. [HL3781]
Lord Rooker: As the only wholly urban region in England, London faces particular challenges. It is therefore more appropriate to compare London's performance on recycling with metropolitan boroughs, which have a similar range of performance.
As we move to new, more sustainable ways of managing waste, it is becoming increasingly important to integrate collection and disposal. Joint working is particularly important in two-tier areas, where responsibilities for waste collection and waste disposal are split between different authorities. The Government have proposed new powers to allow the creation of joint waste authorities, where authorities wish to work together to discharge some, or all, of their waste functions.
Whether they will consider stronger measures to promote greywater information and usage advice for United Kingdom households to re-use domestic water supplies in regular WC cleansing practices. [HL3986]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Greywater harvesting systems are still largely regarded as a developing technology in the UK. Research conducted in the area of greywater harvesting has tended to conclude that these systems are not generally economic, except perhaps for larger users such as hotels and public buildings. The feasibility of installing greywater systems in households still needs to be established.
To address the information gap, the Government's market transformation programme is looking at technologies that could potentially reduce overall water consumption by reusing rainwater and/or greywater. A project has been started to develop the necessary evidence, economic case, feasibility, performance standards, policy action plan and impact scenarios to determine the best use of rainwater/greywater technology.
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