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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
Waste Management and Climate Change Special Interest Group

Waverley Borough Council


27TH MARCH 2007

[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose

This report summarises current issues in relation to the implementation of the revised system of refuse and recycling collections in Waverley. It also introduces Climate Change as a significant matter for consideration by the Special Interest Group.

Environmental Implications:

The Council’s waste management service arguably has the greatest direct environmental impact of all its services. The overarching aims are to provide a service which accords with both the National Waste Hierarchy and the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy. Both of these have been agreed and adopted by Waverley. Both place reduction and reuse as the most important of our waste management activities, and both place disposal by landfill as a final resort.

Amongst the measurable effects of Waverley’s many years of developing an environmentally driven approach to delivering its waste collection services, are a reduced dependency on landfill and increased recycling. Waverley will meet its statutory targets this year. However, further challenges lie ahead with yet higher targets.

Climate Change is a global issue with manifold environmental implications. In order to limit the effects of climate change, Councils need to take action both to reduce emissions that they themselves cause as well as those produced by their communities. Councils should also be taking action to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Resource and Legal Implications

There are no legal implications directly associated with this report.

The 2006-07 capital programme includes 80,000 for improvements to the bring site facilities around the Borough. Whilst work is underway on this project, if any of this budget remains unspent at 31st March 2007, a carry forward request will be made.

The 2007/08 revenue budget includes a sum of 100,000 to develop the recycling and waste collection service. When this budget was agreed, the Council referred to the list of twelve areas that had previously been considered by the SIG in November 2006. Several of these items have financial implications and would be a call on the 100,000 if it were agreed to implement them. Whilst this list overlaps with some of the items in this report, there are some new areas now emerging that also have financial implications and Members will need to consider the value and timing of any associated costs. Members are also reminded that the Saturday static garden waste collection points at Godalming and Haslemere are funded until 31st March, and continuing this service will require approval for additional budget provision in 2007-08 totalling 30,000 for the two sites, to be met from the 100,000 sum.

These two sites have been established because of a lack of Civic Amenity Site provision in Godalming and Haslemere, and without undermining the effectiveness of the subscription service. It should be noted that a similar additional financial provision of 15,000 per site per year if further static garden waste collection points were to be established in other locations, say in the areas of Farnham and Cranleigh respectively.

Any changes to the current service from Veolia Environmental Services may require variations to the contract that could have resource implications.

Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant

Defra has awarded a pooled Waste Performance & Efficiency Grant (Waste PEG) to Surrey’s Waste Collection Authorities & the County Council in 2007/08 to assist in the delivery of the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy. The Districts and SCC are separately and collectively responsible for implementing the strategy and a JMWMS Members’ Consultative Board oversees this. This body is now also responsible for overseeing expenditure of the Waste PEG through a Surrey Local Area Agreement.

In previous years the Waste PEG has been awarded on an individual basis to each Council and been available, split equally between capital and revenue expenditure. In Waverley’s case we could have anticipated a total grant sum of 112,000 for 2007/08.

In order to aid the shift from individual Council expenditure to pooled expenditure, transitional arrangements have been agreed for 2007/08, whereby 50% of each Council’s anticipated Waste PEG is passported directly back to them. This is on the proviso that the 50% is spent on individual activities to implement the JMWMS in each Council area. Therefore in Waverley’s case 56,000 has been requested to support such expenditure in 2007/08. It is expected that the JMWMS Members’ Consultative Board will approve this request at their next meeting on 28th March 2007.

The remaining pooled 2007/08 Waste PEG resources have been identified by the Members’ Consultative Board for expenditure on joint and pilot projects. More details about these will become available at their meeting on 28th March.


1. At the last meeting of the Executive it was agreed that the role of the Waste Management Special Interest Group should be expanded to include climate change considerations. Revised terms of reference were approved which are set out in the SIG agenda.

2. The matter of the title of the Special Interest Group was considered at the meeting held on 27th February and Members considered, and the Environment Portfolio Holder agreed, that it would be more appropriate if the SIG was entitled the “Waste Management and Climate Change Special Interest Group”. This is because of the continuing huge importance of waste management in the climate change agenda.

3. Under the circumstances that this is the first meeting of the SIG operating under the new terms of reference, the Portfolio Holder and your officers considered it appropriate to set-out an action plan of issues which the SIG might consider in its first year. These are divided into two. First, those that relate to waste management. And secondly, those which relate to the broader climate change agenda.

4. Members of the SIG are asked to comment on the proposed workload action plan, express their views about any perceived priority areas of work and any additional areas of work they would wish to see receive the attentions of the SIG.

Waste Management Related Issues Enhancing the Green Waste Service 5. The Council has resolved to include provision in the approved 2007/2008 revenue budget to fund the appointment of an officer to develop the Green Waste Service. This is the service which provides two 90 litre woven green polypropylene bags for 40 per annum (four for 60), discounted by 50% for those in receipt of statutory means tested benefits, for the fortnightly removal of green garden waste for composting. The current uptake is approximately 3,000 households, with renewals for the second year of operation currently underway. The additional staffing resource should be able to expand this significantly and the proposed target is 6,000 households within a year from April 2007. This is an ambitious target, where the actual number of subscribers is likely to be sensitive to the level of charge. 6. This is also the target level for the contractor’s financial model for waste collection in Waverley. The current level of 3,000 subscribers means one collection vehicle and its crew are kept fully occupied. Therefore, from the contractor’s perspective, maximum efficiency is reached at whole multiples of this number. Possibilities for discounting reducing the subscription charge for the Green Waste Service 7. Some Members have expressed the view that the current charges for the Green Waste Service, outlined above, may be an impediment for maximising participation in the scheme, and therefore not maximising recycling of green waste. The current rate is 5 per annum less than the amount tendered by our contractor for providing a green waste service per household and per annum. The Council has resolved to cover financially this reduction as well as the discount to benefits recipients. Whereas there is to be no increase in charge to service users from 2006/07 to 2007/08 the contractor will be increasing his charge per customer to Waverley in line with the annual contract inflation uplift meaning that the subsidy level will be approximately 7 per annum for the forthcoming year. Members are reminded that, whilst the green waste collection service offers a good alternative to householders, Waverley’s primary focus for garden waste is to encourage composting. 8. Clearly it is a matter for the Council’s discretion to consider further reductions or concessions and a matter for our judgement to consider the impact of any further reductions both on the weight of green waste presented for collection (by expanding participation) and on the budget. 9. Dealing with the latter, and presuming success in hitting the revised target for participation, the full year effect of a further discount reduction in the charge of 10 per customer to 30of 10 there would be a net cost of 102,000 if there were to be 6,000 households subscribers. maximum reduction in income of 75,000. This could be contained, were Members so minded, in the additional approved revenue provision of 100,000 for 2007/08 but as the report indicates earlier, there also a number of other potential projects with financial implications that would need to be met from this budget.
10. Members are asked to express their views in relation to potential reductions in the subscription charge for the Green Waste Service. Lifting/trolley mechanisms for recycling boxes 11. Difficulties with lifting laden paper and glass boxes are few but regularly expressed. Earlier attempts to find a solution have not been productive either because of price, or market capacity or indeed functionality. A recent visit to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to talk about our system of waste management enabled Waverley to see their system for trolleying boxes like ours. Relatively inexpensive at 9.95 + VAT wholesale, this simple ingenious device attaches under the rim of the box, lifts it easily and transports the box with little effort and no lifting. 12. Again, were Members so minded, one clear possibility of offering help for those who express a concern about lifting boxes, is for Waverley to keep a stock of these trolleys and to make them available to our residents at a cost plus VAT, plus delivery to their home. For less than 15 this could be an attractive option to challenged residents. However, officers do have health and safety concerns around the Council supplying lifting equipment to the general public. The Council do continue to offer the assisted collection service through the contractor. 13. Members are asked to comment on this proposal. A trolley will be available for inspection at the SIG meeting and members of the Executive received a demonstration at its last meeting. Enhanced bring sites: an update report 14. Officers will report on recent work undertaken at the Council’s bring sites in order to bring about an improvement, both in terms of what the sites look like in relation to tidiness and also in terms of upgrading and repainting the containers for recyclables, expanding the range of recyclables and number of bring sites. Bio-diesel for refuse freighters 15. Bio-diesel is primarily manufactured from pre-used vegetable oils. Because it is in effect a sustainable source fuel rather than a fossil fuel it has an environmental appeal. Officers will need to develop with our contractors, costed options for a switch to this fuel for Members consideration. Possible joint venture for disposal of kitchen waste 16. Perhaps the largest limiting factor to launching a kitchen waste collection service is the lack of local facilities for dealing with kitchen waste. This is ordinarily an in-vessel composter in order to satisfy the requirements of the Animal Bi-products Regulations. The nearest are Dorset and Buckinghamshire. The prospect of being able to tie-up, perhaps with a couple of other districts, to produce a jointly available facility, has obvious attractions. Officers will need to work-up a possible scheme and come back to Members with costed proposals.
17. It is expected that the results of the forthcoming trial of kitchen food waste collections in three small areas of three Surrey Waste Collection Authorities will be available to inform about the feasibility, longer term sustainability and costs of operating a full-scale service. Batteries Collection Service 18. Perhaps the most toxic component of the domestic waste stream is electrical equipment batteries. Nickel and Cadmium are the poisonous metals often present. Up until recently, the best practicable environmental option was to include batteries within domestic waste. However, some 20,000 tonnes are being thrown away in the UK every year, with a recycling rate of less than 1%. 19. Separation is timetabled because of an EU directive requiring manufacturers and importers fund collections and recycling for spent batteries. The first collection targets for portable batteries are to be achieved in 2012, but there are reprocessing targets for collected batteries from 2010. Officers will need to work-up costed proposals for introducing a battery collection and return scheme for Members to consider in due course. Issues Previously Raised 20. The Waste Management SIG has previously considered a range of issues that arose from questions raised by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 31st October 2006. These issue are contained again at Annexe 1 to this report for completeness should this Committee wish to consider any of them further at this meeting. Recent Research into Possible Adverse Health Effects of AWC 21. On 16th March 2007, Defra published research into the possible adverse health effects of alternate weekly collections. A copy of the Defra website news-page is attached at Annexe 2 to this report. 22. The following is taken from the published report: Keep the waste containers clean, for example by washing and disinfection when needed Keep moisture in waste containers to a minimum Not shredding or chopping kitchen waste before disposal – it is better to put waste into the bin in larger pieces Keep the waste container outdoors and out of direct sunlight where possible Avoid giving shelter opportunities for rodents Keep all waste tightly wrapped or in containers Place newspaper in the base of the green waste bin Ensure that containers holding kitchen wastes are kept closed. It is best not to compost cooked food, dairy products, meat, fish or bones at home, because these wastes are more likely to attract rodents Garden waste compost heaps or bins should be sited away from walls and fences to avoid providing a sheltered route for rodents Conclusion 23. The research indicates that no significant adverse health effects are likely to be caused by alternate weekly waste collections of residual and biodegradable waste. Provided common-sense steps such as those listed above are taken, any annoyance issues (e.g. due to odours or flies) can also be controlled.” Climate Change Related Issues

‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore: proposals for screening and distributing the book 24. Now a major motion picture film, this addresses from a basis of scientific evidence the impact of CO2 on global warming and the global consequences of climate change. Members may wish to agree arrangements for a showing of the film and comment on a proposal to make copies of the book available to members of the SIG. Climate Change Action Plan Update 25. The Council agreed a Climate Change Action Plan in July 2006. Since that time ECSC have been commissioned, with the support of a grant from the Carbon Trust, to undertake a base level survey of Waverley’s energy consumption and related data. The results from this are imminent and will be reported when available to this or a future meeting of the SIG. Equally important will be the need to discuss and agree times for a twice-annual reporting of the Climate Change Action Plan so that progress can be monitored and, where necessary, management action precipitated. Possibilities for a bio-mass boiler for Waverley with a CHP unit providing heating, cooling and light 26. Officers will report on the progress of a feasibility study commissioned to examine the practicalities of introducing a bio-mass boiler into the municipal offices at the Burys.

The 2016 target for zero carbon homes 27. Houses are without doubt the single major pollutant source for global warming. Waverley owns houses and also has a statutory duty to encourage home energy conservation. Also the Council is involved through its Building Control and Planning processes in improving the carbon performance of new dwellings and other buildings. The bigger challenge and potentially greater benefit flows from improving the existing stock of buildings in the Borough. This will require a joint effort with other partners and the Government’s active support. Encouragement and Support for Outside Bodies 28. At its meeting on 13th March 2007, the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the application made by Bramley Parish Council to Waverley’s Community Partnership Fund for 9,000 towards the overall cost of 36,750 to replace 35 street lights that are more than 40 years old. Whilst the application was not recommended for approval because the fund criteria does not support projects that do not fall within Waverley’s area of responsibility, it was requested that this SIG examine this matter. The new system would be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than the old one. 29. Whilst more information would be needed to assess the technical aspects of this, Members may have initial views about whether this matter should be progressed. Electric cars and car parks 30. Electric cars and hybrid cars present a more acceptable sustainable future than cars powered by fossil fuels. As the owner of car parks across the Borough, Members may wish to consider a concessionary approach to electric and hybrid cars in relation to charges for parking with a view to encouraging a greater number of drivers to make the switch. This will need to have regard to the effects on car park income which forms a significant part of the Council’s total income. Costed proposals will be presented in due course. Climate Change Bill 31. The Government published its draft Climate Change Bill on 13th March in which it is proposed that a framework for reducing carbon dioxide will be established through the following four key elements: Suggested Climate Change Review and Investigation Process

32. An outline review and investigation process is attached as Annexe 3 to this report. Members are asked to comment on this as a way of undertaking the Climate Change element of their work. 33. The Environment Portfolio Holder will present any comments from the SIG on the details set out in this report to the Executive at its meeting later in the day. Recommendation

It is recommended that:

1. Officers be requested to prepare such further information as may be needed to prioritise further improvements to the Council’s Waste Management Service for the forthcoming year;

2. the contents of this report in relation to updated information about the implementation of the Alternate Weekly Collection Service be noted;

3. the review process as set out in Annexe 3 to the report be agreed as a way of conducting the Climate Change element of the work of the SIG;

4. an opportunity be given for all Members of the Council to view “An Inconvenient Truth”.

Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


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

Martin Shorten Telephone: 01483 523434
E-mail: mshorten@waverley.gov.uk

Fotini Kallipoliti Telephone: 01483 523448
E-mail: fkallipoliti@waverley.gov.uk

COMMS/o&s3/2006-07/189.callin appxa