§ Mr. Yeo
My Department already encourages alternative uses of colliery spoil where practicable, environmentally acceptable and economically viable. Circular 20/87, issued in conjuction with the Department170W of Transport and the Welsh Office, advises highway authorities to inform the local planning authorities and waste producer of road schemes at an early stage, so that information on waste materials as potential sources of fill can be incorporated into the instructions for tenderers. The Government also set aside £2.5 million to fund a number of colliery-spoil disposal demonstration schemes so that the practical, environmental and economic aspects of utilising colliery spoil for engineered fill and civil engineering projects could be investigated. More generally, I am concerned that potentially valuable waste materials, including colliery spoil, are under-utilised and my Department has commissioned research to appraise their occurrence and use. This study is looking at the physical and economic constraints to their greater utilisation and will identify ways in which these could be overcome. The research is being carried out in full consultation with officials at British Coal.