Waste management in England

31 March 2014

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launch an inquiry into Waste management in England.


About 177 million tonnes of waste is generated every year in England. This costs businesses and households money and can also cause environmental damage.

From April 2014, Defra will be “stepping back” in areas of waste management where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure. The department will not take forward new policy work, including developing energy from waste.

This inquiry will examine existing approaches to the recycling and treatment of municipal waste in England, and the impact of the reduction of Defra’s activities in municipal waste management.

The Committee invites written evidence on the following issues:

  • the ability of existing recycling policy measures to ensure that England reaches the EU target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020;
  • whether England’s national recycling targets should be higher than those stipulated by the EU; and the pros and cons of compulsory household waste recycling;
  • the role of businesses and households in municipal waste recycling and recovery;
  • whether England has the right balance of waste treatment technologies between anaerobic digestion, incineration with energy recovery and gasification to produce fuel/heat/power;
  • the extent to which increasing the capacity of thermal treatment plants could impact England’s municipal waste recycling rates;
  • whether anaerobic digestion is the best option available to deal with food and other biowaste;
  • whether the Government’s Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan has substantially increased the use of AD; and
  • the feasibility of the introduction of a ban on landfill and/or incineration in England.

Notes on submission of evidence

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted via the Waste management in England inquiry page on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website.

The deadline is Thursday 8 May 2014. As a guideline submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxx’ and be no longer than 3000 words, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this.

Submissions must be a self-contained memorandum in Word or Rich Text Format (not pdfs). Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Publishing submissions

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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