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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 17/04/2007
Matters Considered by the Waste Management SIG at its Meeting on 28th November 2006

Matters Considered by the Waste Management SIG at its Meeting on 28th November 2006

1. At the time of writing this report, officers have asked Veolia Environmental Services for proposals and fee bids either to work in parallel with Grundons to increase the capacity or servicing frequency of our cardboard collection facilities at bring sites, or to assume responsibility for the whole of the cardboard collection facility at bring sites. Your officers have also asked for proposals about extending this to an additional range of bring sites. The current distribution of cardboard collection facilities at bring sites is shown at Annexe 2 to this report. Members will also recollect initial approval for 80,000 in the 2007/08 draft capital programme which will be used, at least in part, for upgrading the appearance of bring sites including the cardboard collection containers.
2. At the previous meeting of the Special Interest Group and as reported at the last meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Special Interest Group has agreed to reconsider this matter six months after the full introduction of alternate weekly collection, i.e. after May 2007. For the elucidation of Members, Annexe 3 contains the previously distributed financial analysis of the consequences of reducing the concession to householders of 5 persons and above. Depending on the take up and size of replacement bin, this could involve a one-off cost in the range of 36,000 to 91,000. This amount would reduce if an initial charge were made to the householder. In addition, it is estimated that ongoing costs in the range of 94,000 to 120,000 per annum, depending on the size of replacement bin, could be incurred.

3. In Waverley, three types of plastic are collected. These are:

4. The current policy is to restrict our collection to plastic bottles only and this policy therefore restricts the types of plastic to those described above. Your officers have had recent negotiations with Surrey Waste Management about the possibility of collecting general mixed plastics, although early indications are that this will not be possible, because of the restricted markets for plastic reprocessing and the current sorting arrangements which Surrey Waste Management undertake at Charlton Lane in Sunbury. Your officers will also review the options for trading plastics with other intermediaries. However, this is also likely to prove difficult because of the requirement for bulking facilities before the plastics are transported for sorting and processing. Currently we enjoy the ability to use the bulking facilities of the Slyfield Transfer Station, which is occupied by Surrey Waste Management (owned by Surrey County Council).

4. Concern was expressed at the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee about the current system of recycling cans which does not allow for other pure forms of aluminium to be included in the process, such as aluminium foil and aluminium food trays. Again, your officers are discussing with Surrey Waste Management about whether the scheme could be extended to include not only ferrous and aluminium drinks cans but also other forms of pure aluminium. The initial difficulty may be the separating mechanisms for cans and the requirement for cans only by the end user. This is a combination of an electro-magnet and an eddy-current separator, which may not be suitable for various forms of metal.

5. DTW will be present at the meeting to update Members on the work they have done so far with Waverley in respect of the introduction of the alternate weekly collection service and to inform Members of current projects and the likely direction of public relations during the coming months. This will be the opportunity for Members to ask DTW direct about any issues they wish to raise in respect of the delivery of the public relations campaign.

6. Unfortunately the summer of 2006 was unseasonably hot and certain problems, which may not under ordinary circumstances have occurred, were reported to the team. Perhaps on reflection the largest single problem was the heat itself, which approached 40 degrees centigrade and the ability of the operators to actually continue the service at a time when other Councils abandoned municipal duties during the heat of the day. Veolia continued collections throughout this heat and did all that was humanly possible to ensure as satisfactory an introduction as possible. Of course the other side of the heat issue was the speed with which smells developed, maggots hatched and flies emerged. Your officers remain of the view that these problems can be largely contained by wrapping before inserting food remains into a bin or bag and wherever possible placing the wheel bin somewhere cool and shady or by householders reducing the amount of food waste disposed of.

7. Small dwellings and communal devlopments are a continuing issue, which your officers are working hard to resolve in terms of ensuring that the recycling capacity is maximised. More often than not, this will include one off arrangements to avoid each property having all the attendant containers of the standard recycling system and rather providing communal collection facilities such as shared wheeled bins for recycling.

8. Members have agreed a policy of providing assistance in collecting boxes from an agreed collection point other than from the property under the circumstances of difficulties arising out of topography, geography, physical capacity or infirmity. At present 1,449 of properties are serviced with the provision of this additional facility. At the last Overview and Scrutiny Committee some concern was expressed about whether this facility is known about widely enough and your officers have undertaken to ensure to repeat this possibility in future communications with residents.

9. Members have agreed to provide an elasticated net as a cover to the plastics and cans container. This has the advantage of being a flexible cover, allowing for the irregularities and protrusions of a box full of mixed objects. Members took the view that a lid would be less satisfactory. A net also provides a secure enclosure and prevents potential wind blown plastics from being dispersed in a way that a lid would not. Some concern was expressed about the net allowing access to the contents of the box by young children and domesticated animals possibly causing variously injured fingers and noses. Perhaps in order to overcome this, Members may wish to consider making available, at cost price, a fitted lid to those householders so exercised and who request such. On the other hand, perhaps householders could be advised to manage their waste to reduce these risks.

10. As described above, Waverley will be launching action on its own recycle bring sites. The Community Recycling Sites also known as Civic Amenity Site are managed by and are the responsibility of Surrey County Council as the Waste Disposal Authority. Proposals for their improvement were contained in the Surrey County Council Local Waste Plan proposals, which are now likely to become subject to a public enquiry prior to formal adoption. For ease of reference Annexe 4 of this report contains the appropriate extract relating to the Civic Amenity Sites (CAS).

Residents’ Concerns

11. Members may wish to amplify the issue that was raised at Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee about general residents concerns in relation to alternate weekly collections and may wish to suggest additional means and methods of addressing this. Officers have improved the response time for written and verbal requests for action and assistance. Whereas at one moment in time there was a capacity issue, this has been addressed and arrangements have been put in place to ensure a continued ability for a speedy response to the more detailed, technically orientated type letter, which demands consideration, analysis and research before a response is prepared.