Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Council held on 12/12/2006
Report from the Waste Management Special Interest Group
Summary & Purpose
Waverley Borough Council
Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee
31st october 2006
EXECUTIVE - 31ST october 2006
REPORT FROM THE WASTE MANAGEMENT SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: All]
Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972
An annexe to this report contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded during the item to which the report relates, as specified in Paragraph 3 of Part I of the revised Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-
Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
Summary and purpose:
The Waste Management Special Interest Group has been meeting regularly to oversee the implementation of the new refuse collection and recycling service. This report updates Members of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on issues that have been discussed during the last six months, since the start of the Alternate Weekly Collection (AWC) in April 2006.
All of the environmental implications associated with this report are positive since the overall aim of reducing waste and increasing recycling will reduce the harmful impacts associated with the current methods of transporting and disposing of waste.
Social / community implications:
Kerbside recycling methods encourage members of the community to play an active and personal part in sorting their refuse for recycling. Local employment opportunities are created for those who will work on the collection rounds.
There are no e-government implications directly associated with this report.
Resource and legal implications:
This report proposes the inclusion of an additional £80,000 in the 2007/8 capital programme. Any additional revenue costs associated with this recommendation will be included with the revenue estimates for waste recycling.
1. The Waste Management Special Interest Group was reformed at the recommendation of the Council on 19th July 2005 with the terms of reference to “
Oversee the implementation of the new refuse and recycling service
”. Since March, when this Overview and Scrutiny Committee received a report, the Special Interest Group has met on 4th May, 26th June, 1st August and 26th September.
2. Key areas for recent consideration and scrutiny by the SIG have been the roll-out of the new service, key challenges to date, the garden waste service, risk management and future issues. The SIG has also recently considered the issue raised at this Committee when considering Surrey County Council’s Local Waste Plan about traffic movements at the Witley Civic Amenity site.
Roll out of the Alternate Weekly Collection service
3. Phase 1 of the new service started at the beginning of April in the first of the three phases across the Borough. The second phase commenced on 30th June, with its start timed to allow for additional preparations, compared with phase 1. These included address and rounds-checks with Veolia crews to ensure accurate delivery of collection calendars and important information. The third phase was rolled out from 25th September. A separate phase has been constituted for the purpose of bringing the relatively small number of flats and other properties with restricted storage facilities or communal collection arrangements onto the scheme. These properties are being dealt with on a site-by-site basis.
4. The Waste SIG has had the opportunity to examine monthly performance data as it has become available. At this time, monthly data does not yet show the effect of phase 3 as the full effect of AWC is still unknown.
5. It is welcome that monitoring results from phases one and two show that the Borough-wide monthly recycling rate has already increased substantially. In September this year the recycling rate was 32%. This represents a step-change when compared with 21% across Waverley in September 2005. This is a significant increase.
6. Figures also show that the volume of residual household waste collected for disposal has declined. This is important since waste reduction has been placed at the top of the National Waste Hierarchy, above reuse and recycling, with disposal to landfill at the bottom. Across Surrey all waste collected for disposal has traditionally been sent to landfill.
7. The reduction this year between April and September compared with 2005 has been approximately 500 tonnes per month. A refuse freighter of the type operating in Waverley carries approximately 10 tonnes when full. This reduction therefore represents approximately 50 lorry loads fewer per month being sent for landfill compared with the same period last year.
8. Taking the longer-term trend into account, the period April to September 2001 saw just under 4,000 tonnes per month of residual waste being collected for disposal. This compares to an average of 2,386 tonnes per month now in the same period this year. These sustained long-term reductions can be attributed to awareness raising campaigns, policy changes in relation to excess waste, one bin per property, charging for garden waste and the implementation of AWC. Taken together these changes represent approximately 50 lorry loads less per month being sent for landfill between April and September this year, compared with the same period in 2001. This is a significant success.
9. Implementation of each successive phase has benefited from experience gained during the process. Phase 1 was implemented in the run up to Easter and its successive Bank Holidays and concurrently with the launch of the garden waste collection service. These factors were not present during the roll-out of the successive phases 2 and 3.
10. Correct calendar delivery was recognised as a critical issue and additional preparation in phases 2 and 3, including a Veolia driver being allocated to this function, improved the accuracy of this. Some of the key challenges faced over the roll- out included the delivery of containers, the ability to use a timetable over the Bank Holiday period in phase 1, the heavy weight of full containers, and the problem of jammed bins. Practical experience in Phase 1 has helped to improve the delivery of the service in the phases that followed.
11. Concerns raised by a few residents, which had been predicted through other local authorities’ experience, included the possibility for increased flies/maggots, smells and rats. Relatively few cases have been reported, with these fears being generally unfounded and, where present, in part caused by the hot summer weather. The heat was particularly difficult for the Veolia collection and supervisory staff who nonetheless continued to work each day to learn and complete revised rounds and to operate the new AWC system.
12. Although some concerns have been expressed about the possibility of fly-tipping increasing as a result of either AWC or charges for garden waste collections, examination of records, reports of incidents and requests for clearance all actually shows a small reduction in Waverley since April this year compared with the same period last year. All Councils now contribute to the DEFRA ‘Flycapture’ database which gives national figures on fly-tipping – evidence shows there is no link between the roll out of AWC and an increase in fly-tipping. A more detailed report about fly-tipping is being prepared for consideration by a future meeting of this Committee.
13. Given the issues associated with the new service, officers have considered the key risks associated with the implementation of the Alternate Weekly Collection and the Garden Waste Service. These are not risks relating to the normal running of the contract but they are specifically key areas that could prevent Waverley from achieving its objective of increasing the recycling rate through the smooth implementation of the AWC and garden waste service, within the agreed timetable and within the estimated cost.
14. The issue of green waste has been a key topic for the SIG. There were initial problems when the bags ordered for the scheme did not meet the correct size specification and therefore had to be rejected and a supply of new larger bags found. This problem was overcome and the new garden waste service was launched in April and over 3,000 people are now participating in the scheme, which is working well. There had been a slight tail off in new subscriptions being taken out over the summer. The SIG is therefore exploring options for further publicity and the timing of it.
15. The SIG was informed that Waverley has been providing a green waste collection vehicle on Saturdays at the Fairground Car Park in Haslemere on a trial basis since August. This has been located alongside the refuse freighter (provided by Surrey County Council) to ensure that green material is separated and sent for composting. The service has proved to be popular and effective, collecting approximately 8 tonnes each Saturday. It is proposed that this service continue until the end of the current financial year and that its effectiveness be further monitored by the SIG.
16. There are a number of issues that have been discussed at the SIG over the last few months that were related to the scheme being implemented by Waverley.
The size of household concession
The Council has agreed to empty a second wheeled bin of residual waste from households of more than five people. Currently the number of households with six or more people is 755 homes and if those with five residents were added, it would be a further 2519 households. It was agreed that the existing concession should be maintained and reviewed by the SIG six months after the full implementation of AWC.
Households with babies
There have been various campaigns to encourage households with babies to stop using disposable nappies, given the volume and type of waste created. The SIG heard from a Surrey County Council Officer about campaigns they have been running to increase the use of real nappies and has been exploring ways of improving uptake in Waverley. It was agreed that the issue of households with babies and their waste disposal facilities should be further reviewed after the full implementation of AWC.
Exchange wheeled bins
The Council has agreed to empty wheeled bins of a capacity of up to 240 litres and, where households have smaller bins to allow them to purchase either the larger size or a second small one to make up 240 litres. In some cases it is possible to facilitate a swap or second hand sale from a household with an unwanted bin. It was agreed that the existing arrangements should be maintained and reviewed by the SIG six months after the full implementation of AWC.
The recycling of cardboard is not currently part of the new kerbside collection. SIG members support the improvement of CA sites both visually and functionally, and the possibility of more cardboard being recycled there in future. Officers are looking at options for cardboard recycling and it is anticipated that proposals for card recycling will be forthcoming in the near future. Discussions have already occurred with contractors.
Witley Civic Recycling Site
17. At its last meeting, the SIG was made aware of several comments from Witley residents and Councillors concerned about increased traffic movement around the Witley site. Officers had asked Surrey CC for more information on traffic movements. However, the initial data received and presented to the SIG did not support the view there was a link between the introduction of AWC and increased traffic movements to the site.
18. SCC Officers advised this had also been their finding in other Surrey Districts where AWC had been implemented and they remained very supportive of AWC as a means of increased recycling and reducing landfill disposal. Officers agreed to find out: what types of waste had been processed at the site; other vehicle movements for previous years; and data for other Community Recycling Sites in Waverley. This further data will be examined by the SIG when it becomes available.
19. Members are reminded that the Witley Community Recycling Site has been identified for improvement in the submission version of the Surrey Local Waste Plan. This Committee formally welcomed the proposals and requested that special attention be given to improving access to the site. In the meantime, Waverley officers are exploring the possibility of providing an alternative local facility for the deposit and collection of garden waste.
Waverley Bring Sites
20. The SIG supported the upgrade and improvement of Waverley’s existing Bring-Site facilities. Such improvements would include improved, additional or alternative containers for cardboard in order to better meet demand. Other containers would be redesigned, access improved where necessary and information boards displayed. Subsequent to the last meeting of the SIG it has been estimated that the overall cost of doing this would be approximately £80,000 at the 15 sites belonging to Waverley.
It is recommended that:
1. the contents of the report about the work of the Waste Management SIG and progress on the implementation of the Alternate Weekly Collection System be noted; and
2. the Executive supports a bid for £80,000 for capital funding to improve the Council’s Bring Site facilities and for provision to be made in the draft capital budget for 2007/8.
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.