§ Norman Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has of the number of(a) christmas cards and (b) christmas trees that were recycled in each year since 1990; what support she provides to local authorities with regard to the recycling of Christmas cards; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 12 December 2002]Defra does not hold information on the recycling of Christmas cards and trees centrally, but I am aware of a scheme to collect and recycle used Christmas cards run in January 2002 by the Woodland Trust. This resulted in 34 million Christmas cards being recycled, in addition to those that were recycled by local authorities as part of their normal collection and recycling of waste paper. Further information is available from the Woodland Trust Website: http://www.woodland-trust.org.uk.597W
Some local authorities do report the number of Christmas trees they recycle to the environmental charity EnCams. The number of trees reported to be recycled in each year since 1997 are:
Year Christmas trees recycled (English local authorities) 1997 114,427 2998 171,488 1999 413,560 2000 728,927 2001 894,720 2002 1,194,670
There is no special provision made to local authorities for the recycling of Christmas cards and trees. However, the Spending Review 2000 included an annual increase in revenue support for Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPCS), which includes waste management services. By 2003–04 this support will have risen by 1.1 billion over the 2000–01 provision.
The 2002 Spending Review has also announced that EPCS spending will increase by a further £671 million by 2005–06. Consistent with the general local authority financial framework, it is for individual local authorities to decide the proportion of their budget that should be directed to waste management work.
In addition to general support to local authority revenue expenditure, Spending Review 2000 provided a £140 million Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fundand 220 million of Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) resources, for waste projects, in Spending Review 2002, the PFI provision was increased to £355 million over the next three years. In addition, the New Opportunities Fund will distribute £38.75 million to expand community sector waste reuse, recycling and composting in England.