Ministers have admitted that there is a gap in statistical data for commercial and industrial waste to a House of Lords select committee this week.
While giving evidence to the Science and Technology Committee waste reduction inquiry, Minister Joan Ruddock said: I am aware that there is a gap in the data but rather than trying to plug all the gaps we are looking at the priority waste streams. Food waste is one such stream.
Concentrating on specific streams can give more data and reduce waste in that stream.
However, she did add that she wanted to plug the information gaps in other areas and that there was a programme underway to find out where data is lacking.
But, Ruddock added that she was not convinced that returning to a comprehensive data gathering system was the perfect solution. She said that such comprehensive gathering in 2002 had cost £3 million, which was very expensive.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Waste Strategy Team is looking at improving the situation, she added.
A Defra study is underway to find out what data is needed to reduce waste and to judge which measures are the most important.