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Environment minister Elliot Morley told waste managers bringing down ...
Environment minister Elliot Morley told waste managers bringing down

England's large volume of household waste still provides a formidable

challenge to local authorities, government and individual

householders themselves.

Speaking to the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management annual

conference Mr Morley said today:

'There has been a welcome improvement on all waste indicators, but

the priority is minimisation, re-use and recycling, and landfill is

bottom of the hierarchy.

'It's happening across the country, but at a slower pace than we

would have liked and there is an unacceptable gap between the best

and worst performing local authorities.

'There is a long, long way to go to be in the situation where we can

sit back and congratulate ourselves. However we are starting to see a

reduction in the rate at which waste growth is increasing.

'Latest recycling estimates for England reveal achieving our

2003/2004 recycling target is now within reach and we will find out

later this year. Local authorities across the country are working

hard to manage waste more sustainably. We must not underestimate the

huge challenges they face in meeting tough recycling targets for

2005-06 and to fulfil our obligations under the EU Landfill


'The challenge is for all - not just certain local authorities -

across the country to develop approaches that meet the standards of

the best. Individual householders too play a big part by co-operating

and taking part in the new recycling culture across the country. No

longer are we prepared to just dump everything in landfill.

Latest figures published towards the end of April show:

* In 2002/03, over 300,000 tonnes less went into landfill than the

previous year, the first fall in 4 years and it was the biggest fall


* The proportion of household waste recycled (including composting)

has continued to increase, rising from 12.5 per cent in 2001/02 to

14.5 per cent in 2002/03. This increase of 2 percentage points in the

recycling rate is more than the 1 percentage point that has been the

norm in previous years.

* In absolute terms the amount of household waste collected for

recycling has increased by 17 per cent, from 3.2 million tonnes in

2001/02 to 3.7 million tonnes in 2002/03. Over the last six years the

amount of household waste recycled has more than doubled.

* The amount of household waste collected for recycling at civic

amenity and bring sites has increased by 12 percent from 2.2 million

tonnes in 2001/02 to 2.5 million tonnes in 2002/03.

* The amount of recycled household material collected through

'kerbside' schemes rose by 29 per cent from 1.0 million tonnes in

2001/02 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2002/03.

* The greater increase in kerbside recycling means it accounted for

34 per cent of the total household recycling in 2002/03 compared to

31 per cent in 2001/02. The proportion from civic amenity and bring

sites was 66 per cent down from 69 per cent in 2001/02.

* It is estimated that the proportion ofhouseholds served by a

kerbside recycling scheme increased from 58 per cent in 2001/02 to 66

per cent in 2002/03.

Mr Morley added:

'A more successful, sustainable and environmentally sensitive

approach to waste management is taking shape after a year of solid

progress since the government's detailed response to the Strategy

Unit report Waste Not, Want Not. Over the past year we have

established some important new building blocks to help deliver the

government's vision.

'I have been delighted by the enthusiasm with which the government's

funding and initiatives have been received - in particular, uptake

for the pilot new technology schemes has exceeded expectations, the

efforts of local authorities to improve their recycling

infrastructure, and the interest in increasing collaboration between

authorities and with the private sector.'

Government action in key areas is captured in a new 12-month report

on Defra's Waste Implementation Programme - aimed at improving waste

minimisation, recycling and composting.

Major progress by Defra includes:

* more than£100m in Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund grants


* successful launch of pilot scheme for new sustainable waste

management technologies for dealing with those wastes which are not

readily reduced, reused or recycled;

* high-level steering committee set up, involving key waste

stakeholders - providing multi-disciplinary expertise and expert

challenge to help delivery of Defra's work;

* web-based advice and best practice guidance for local authorities

has been launched;

* network of pilot home composting schemes up and running;

* good progress on data and research strategies to plug knowledge

gaps across all waste streams;

* delivery of a targeted home composting programme with selected

local authority partners;

* funding for information and education campaigns, helping to boost

take up of local recycling facilities;

* publication of a Review of Environmental and Health Effects of

Waste Management;

* Waste and Emissions Trading Act introduced, allowing Landfill

Directive targets to be met at less cost.

Report published today by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)


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