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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 28/10/2003
Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy - Consultation



Summary & Purpose
This report outlines the main points and layout of the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy consultation documents, in particular the available options and key policies. The Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) consultation strategy is also outlined.

The draft Strategy seeks to set out future policies for dealing with Surrey’s waste and therefore has significant environmental, social and economic implications. However, it should be noted that the draft Strategy documentation does not deal with specific sites for waste facilities; this will be dealt with in the Surrey Waste Local Plan which is due to follow, and take into account this Strategy and will be consulted on separately.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
Positive
Positive or Negative
Positive or Negative
Positive or Negative
Positive
Positive or Negative
Positive or Negative


APPENDIX C
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 28TH October 2003

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Title:

Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy - Consultation

[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

This report outlines the main points and layout of the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy consultation documents, in particular the available options and key policies. The Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) consultation strategy is also outlined.

The draft Strategy seeks to set out future policies for dealing with Surrey’s waste and therefore has significant environmental, social and economic implications. However, it should be noted that the draft Strategy documentation does not deal with specific sites for waste facilities; this will be dealt with in the Surrey Waste Local Plan which is due to follow, and take into account this Strategy and will be consulted on separately.

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Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Although the consultation itself has little likely quality of life impact, the implications of the questions to which this consultation seeks answers and the chosen courses of action are highly significant. The report seeks to promote re-use and recycling and considers energy generation, all of which will help to reduce the amount of virgin materials needed for product and energy production. The pollution impacts are, however, more difficult to categorise and can be seen in both positive and negative lights; for example, the aim to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill will be positive for pollution, but thermal treatment (which includes energy-from-waste incineration, gasification and pyrolysis) as an alternative may be seen as negative in terms of pollution. The overall evaluation will depend on the option or options pursued. Biodiversity and Nature and Local Environment implications are also difficult to estimate at this stage as this will depend on the size, nature and location of the facilities that are built. The Safe, Healthy and Active Communities implications are also unknown at this stage as the health impacts associated with the various waste facilities are not entirely certain and often debated. In terms of community activity and Social Inclusion, this consultation is aiming to be as wide as possible, allowing as many people as possible to have their say. All sections of society will also be encouraged to ‘do their bit’ for waste management as schemes such as waste minimisation and recycling collections cannot succeed without public participation. The local economic implications of this Strategy are also unknown as the Strategy deals mainly with household waste, although it includes policies to encourage local businesses to also ‘do their bit’. Non-household waste, such as that produced by local businesses, actually constitutes the highest proportion of the waste volume in Surrey, so it was therefore considered important that it was included within the Strategy.

E-Government implications:

There are no significant E-Government implications associated with this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The resource and legal implications from the Waste Strategy could be significant, although this will depend on the options chosen, the alternative funding available, including Government grants and Exchequer rebates, and which authority pays for which aspects of the Strategy.

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Introduction and background

1. The consultation period for the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy (‘SJMWMS’) was officially launched on 4th September 2003. Commissioned by and published under the auspices of the Surrey Local Government Association (‘SLGA’), it was compiled by a Members’ Group, commissioned by SLGA, made up of representatives from all the Surrey Boroughs and Districts and the County Council, assisted by an Officer Advisory Group, which included relevant officers from every Borough and District across Surrey and from the County Council. Surrey Heath, Guildford and Waverley took the lead in this Group. These groups met on several occasions, commencing in the Spring of 2002, to formulate the draft Strategy which is now available for public consultation.

Format of the consultation documentation

2. The consultation documentation consists of two parts:
b) ‘A Way Forward’ – the main consultation document

a) ‘Supporting Technical Appendix’ – details the findings of an independent consultant commissioned by the SLGA to investigate the issues and options.

3. A short leaflet has also been produced to provide a more accessible summary of the main issues and to seek more general comment from the public and interested organisations, who may not be prepared to read the full documents or necessarily wish to follow the more detailed technical issues. Copies of this leaflet are available in the Council Offices Reception at Godalming and from all Locality Offices.

4. The format of the main consultation document ‘A Way Forward’ and a summary of its contents are set out in Annexe 1 to this report.

Options

5. A choice needs to be made between combinations of waste management facilities to deal with Surrey’s waste. The options generated in the consultation draft are:

• Option 1 - Recycling (at 36%) and landfill
• Option 2 – Recycling (at 36%), composting and landfill
Option 3 – Recycling (at 36%), thermal treatment and landfill
• Option 4 – Recycling (at 36%), composting, thermal treatment and landfill
Option 5 – Recycling (at 36%), composting, anaerobic digestion and landfill
Option 6 – Recycling (at 36%), composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment and landfill
• Option 7 – Recycling (at 36%), composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment, thermal treatment and landfill

6. However, options 1, 2, 5 and 6 are not Government and/or EU compliant. So the only remaining options are 3, 4 and 7 (which are highlighted in bold above). Option 6 only becomes available if a 60% recycling rate is achieved – for the purposes of this report, this option has been numbered Option 8:

Option 8 – Recycling (at 60%), composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment and landfill

7. Options 1 to 7 assume that it will be possible to achieve a 36% recycling rate across Surrey, whilst Option 8 assumes a 60% recycling rate. Members are reminded that Waverley Borough Council has agreed to attempt to meet its own challenging targets of achieving recycling rates of 24% by the end of 2003/04 and 36% by the end of 2005/06.

8. Of the four Government compliant options remaining, considering all of the information contained within the main document, the ‘recycling (at 60%), composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment and landfill’ option (Option 8) is preferable. However, it is recognised that the 60% recycling rate is likely to be optimistic and very difficult to achieve in current circumstances. It is, therefore, suggested that the ‘recycling (at 36%), composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment, thermal treatment and landfill’ (Option 7) is therefore the preferred remaining option provided that any form of thermal treatment is used strictly as a final resort and only then following comprehensive public consultation. It is suggested that, in its response to the consultation, this Council should say that it will keep its own targets under review in order to achieve better recycling levels in future years.

9. Further details of the various waste management technologies and of each of the options are set out in Annexes 2 to 4 to this report.

Proposed Policies

10. The report also sets out several key policies (described in more detail in Annexe 5):

a) Improve the capacity for managing household and industrial/commercial waste in Surrey by re-use, recycling and recovery.
b) Increase the levels of public participation in recycling and minimisation schemes.
c) Improve collective working to ensure the best net benefit to Surrey.
d) Secure and target funds to a local level to achieve improvements in waste minimisation and recycling.
e) Develop, and facilitate the development of, facilities for the treatment of residual waste.
f) Develop closer working with the commercial and industrial waste sector.
g) Lobby central government for legislative and policy changes.
h) Recognise the needs, and contributions, that other stakeholders have in the development of the Strategy.
i) Improve communication and working with local community organisations.

11. It is suggested that Waverley would wish to support all of these key policies.

Implementation

12. The consultation draft does not explain how any Strategy finally adopted by the SLGA will be implemented. It is therefore suggested that the need for effective implementation and how actions are to be co-ordinated across Surrey, should be made in Waverley’s response.

13. Furthermore, it is suggested that a report subsequently be prepared for the Executive setting out the detailed environmental, financial and operational implications for Waverley of any finally adopted Strategy. That report should also request the Executive to consider the most appropriate way for this Council to determine the actions it needs to take.

Consultation

14. The consultation period runs until Friday 28th November 2003. A press release was issued on 4th September to notify the local media of the launch (attached as Annexe 6). The main ‘A Way Forward’ document has been circulated to local authorities and relevant pressure groups. Several thousand copies of the short leaflet have also been prepared. The full document is also available on Surrey’s website: www.surreywaste.info/waste-strategy.htm. The public, and interested organisations, can make their views known either by filling in the form section of the short summary leaflet, or by writing a more detailed response; all responses are to be sent to the SLGA. Copies of the Summary Leaflet are available for the public at the Council Offices and at the Locality Offices and a hard copy of the main document is available in each of our four offices for public viewing. Opinion research is also to be undertaken by an independent research organisation, organised by the SLGA, to try to canvas the views of a broad range of society in Surrey to get a more ‘average’ view.

Conclusion

15. The consultation document demonstrates that new waste management systems and facilities are required to deal with the wastes generated in Surrey. It is also indicated that no one method of waste disposal will be sufficient on its own; the examination of the composition of waste in the document demonstrates that local authorities cannot use recycling to manage all wastes – there will be residuals that will have to be managed by other techniques. Only four of the eight options highlighted in the document are realistically available and, of those, thermal treatment can only be avoided if a recycling rate of 60% were to be achieved, which is high even by global standards. Although the 60% recycling option is preferable, it is unlikely to be realistically achievable in the very near future; of the remaining options, the ‘recycling (at 36%), composting, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biological treatment, thermal treatment and landfill’ is preferred as it appears to make best use of refuse as a resource and minimise the need for thermal treatment. It should be noted that the 36% minimum recycling rate is regarded as an intermediate target on the road to a higher recycling rate in future years.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:

1. This Council’s response to the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy should be to:

(a) support all of the key policies as set out in paragraph 10 and Annexes 1 and 5 to this report, and
(b) whilst it would be preferable to attempt to achieve a recycling rate that is as high as possible across Surrey, Waverley is currently committed to achieve its own target of at least 36% by the end of 2005/06. Waverley therefore supports the adoption of Option 7 as set out in paragraph 5 of this report, provided that any form of thermal treatment is used strictly as a final resort and only then following comprehensive public consultation. It should be noted that the 36% minimum recycling rate is regarded as an intermediate target on the road to a higher recycling rate in future years.
(c) request consideration be given as to how the SLGA will ensure effective implementation and co-ordination of the Strategy across Surrey.

2. The Director of Environment and Leisure prepare a further report to the Executive setting out the detailed implications to Waverley of any finally adopted Strategy. That report will also request the Executive to consider the most appropriate way for this Council to determine the actions it needs to take.
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Background Papers (DoE&L)

Surrey Local Government Association – A Way Forward: An Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey – Consultation Draft (Sept 2003)

Surrey Local Government Association/Associates in Industrial Ecology – Supporting Technical Appendix (Aug 2003)

Surrey Local Government Association – An Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey – Summary Leaflet (Sept 2003)

Surrey Local Government Association press release – How to Deal with Surrey’s Waste Mountain
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Maudsley Telephone: 01483 523398
E-mail: pmaudsley@waverley.gov.uk

Name: Susan Gilfrin Telephone: 01483 523448
E-mail: sgilfrin@waverley.gov.uk

comms/exec/2003-04/318