Environmental Audit Committee

Session 2001-02

29 August 2002

Winning the War on Waste - Call for Evidence

Waste is second only to climate change in terms of the UK's environmental challenges. Each year the UK produces around 400 million tonnes of waste and production trends are heading resolutely in the wrong direction.  This not sustainable.  Whatever we do about waste, business as usual - leading to an irreplaceable loss of resources and a danger of lasting harm to the environment -  is not an option.

In autumn 2002 the Environmental Audit Committee will be examining progress towards achieving sustainable waste management in England and Wales.  The main purpose of the inquiry is to audit the implementation of the Government's Waste Strategy 2000 and performance against the waste targets set out in the Strategy and those derived from EU directives.

It will also consider the progress that central Government Departments have made against their operational targets for waste recovery and recycling and in adopting sustainable waste practices.

In particular, the Committee will examine-

current progress against targets set in the Waste Strategy 2000 and those which flow from EU Directives such as the Landfill Directive;

the Best Value Initiative and progress against local authority and targets and statutory performance standards;

the adequacy of data collection and monitoring relating to waste;

the scope of national waste targets and whether they are achievable and sufficiently challenging;

economic and regulatory instruments used to influence waste production and management;

major barriers to progress towards both the various waste targets and sustainable waste management;

producers' responsibility initiatives;

the contribution of the community sector;

the potential for social, economic and environmental benefits of greener waste options;

the role that the public sector can play as an exemplar of good waste management practices (including through procurement decisions);

The Committee will also take into account the findings and recommendations of the Performance and Innovation Unit's Waste Study (due to be published in October 2002)

Written submissions are invited from interested parties to reach the Committee by 11th October 2002.