In a written response to a parliamentary question yesterday, Mr Meacher said:
'Reducing the waste we generate, making better use of waste, and
ensuring that the remainder is disposed of safely, are all critical
priority on improving our waste management. That is why I am
announcing today the preparation of a new waste strategy for England
'The secretary of state for Wales and I have asked officials, working with the Environment Agency and other interested parties, to begin preparation of the new strategy which will fulfil the requirements of the Environment Act 1995. The first step towards this goal will be a wide public consultation beginning in the spring of this year, leading to publication of a White Paper in 1999.
'The 1995 White Paper, Making Waste Work, set out the previous
government's policy framework for the management of waste, identified
ways in which waste could be managed in a more sustainable way and
set a number of targets for achieving that aim. It recognised the
principles of the waste hierarchy and best practicable environmental
option as being at the heart of waste policy, and set out a number of
options by which central government, local authorities, industry and
commence, the waste management industry, householders, and the
voluntary and community sectors could help achieve that strategy's
'This government supports the broad thrust of the policies set out
in the 1995 White Paper but nevertheless believes that the time is
now right for a comprehensive review of waste management in England
and Wales. I am sure that this will be welcomed by all interested
parties. They will want to know what our future priorities will be
so that they can plan and invest for them.'
Making Waste Work set out the previous government's policy framework
for the management of waste, identified ways in which waste could be
managed in a more sustainable way and set a number of targets for
achieving that aim.
Key targets included: to reduce the proportion of controlled waste
going to landfill from 70% to 60% by 2005; and to recover value from
40% of municipal waste by 2005.
To this end, targets for household waste included: to achieve easily
accessible recycling facilities for 80% of households by the year
2000; to recycle or compost 25% of household waste by the year 2000;
and for 40% of domestic properties with a garden to carry out home
composting by the year 2000.
Making Waste Work was published in December 1995 by the Department of
the Environment and the Welsh Office, and prepared the way for these
departments to draw up a waste strategy with statutory status, under
section 44A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which is
inserted by section 92 of the Environment Act 1995.
There will be a full consultation process as part of the review. A
consultation paper will be published in the spring.