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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 8 July, 2013

 

Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

Review of Waste Management and Cleansing Corporate Risk

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To allow the Committee to review the Corporate Risk Register relating to Waste Management and Cleansing.

Recommendations

1.             That Committee note the measures in place to mitigate the corporate risks relating to Waste Management.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To reassure Committee.

Background

2.             Waste Management & Cleansing officers have been working during the past 12 months on a significant number of major procurements for the Council's continued and future contractual waste management operations and treatment facilities. These include:

(i)           future residual treatment  - Project Gwyrdd

(ii)          future organic waste treatment   - Cardiff Partnership

(iii)         biodegradable municipal waste treatment  - Kitchen and Food

(iv)         processing of recyclable municipal waste - Caerphilly Partnership

(v)          management and operation of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC's)

 

3.             These procurements have been completed and formalised in respect to 'Kitchen and Food Treatment', 'Processing of Recyclable Municipal Waste' and the 'Management and Operation of the Council's HWRCs'.  A report advising of the position with these arrangements was agreed by Cabinet on the 20th May 2013 (Minute No's C1341, C1342 and C1343 refer; attached at Appendix 2 [a]). The Prosiect Gwyrdd procurement has reached the Preferred Bidder stage as reported to Council on the 8th March 2013 (Minute No's 949 and 950 refer; as attached at Appendix 2 [b]) and the Future Procurement of Organic Waste Treatment (post 2015) has now reached Final Bids stage (Minute No. C1846 refers, as attached at Appendix 2 [c]).

4.             Of the 122 risks identified in the Corporate Plan the top10 highest risks that impact both at a service and Council wide perspective are shown below with the waste management risks identified at (v):

(i)           impact of job evaluation and equal pay conditions on workforce planning. (Workforce Planning, Business Continuity, Equalities, Funding);

(ii)          inability of Social Services to meet requirements of the Change Plan (Funding, Project Management, Sustainability, Collaboration);

(iii)         failure to deliver the School Investment Strategy (Funding, Project Management, Sustainability);

(iv)         failure to meet Welsh Housing Quality Standards and a sustainable solution for the Housing Revenue Account (Funding, Project Management, Sustainability);

(v)          failure to meet the national waste/sustainability agenda and targets (Funding, Collaboration, Project Management, Sustainability);

(vi)         inability to recruit key staff with the appropriate skills (Workforce Planning, Business Continuity);

(vii)        impact of sickness absence on service continuity (Sickness Absence, Business Continuity);

(Viii)      failure to deliver services/projects collaboratively (Collaboration, Funding, and Project Management);

(ix)         impact of transitional change on the ability to deliver information management and OneVale outcomes (E-Government, Information Management, and Project Management):

(x)          impact of St Athan Development on long-term service provision (Social Inclusion, Sustainability, Funding, Equalities).

5.             As the failure to meet national waste targets is 5th on the list above this clearly demonstrates the significance of the risk to the Council.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             The EC Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC), Landfill Allowances Scheme (Wales) Regulations 2004 sets targets for the progressive reduction of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW). The statutory targets are shown below:

(i)           by 2010 reduce the biodegradable waste landfilled to 75% of that produced in 1995:

(ii)          by 2013 reduce the biodegradable waste landfilled to 50% of that produced in 1995:

(iii)         by 2020 reduce the biodegradable waste landfilled to 35% of that produced in 1995.

 

7.             Failure to meet these targets would result in financial penalties of £200 per tonne for every tonne landfilled above the target figure. 

8.             The Welsh Government's (WG) Waste Strategy "Towards Zero Waste" and their Waste (Wales) Measure 2010, also set targets for the amount of municipal waste that should be recycled. These targets are shown below:

Targets

52%

2012/13

58%

2015/16

64%

2019/20

70%

2024/25

 

Failure to meet these targets would also result in financial penalties of £200 per tonne of waste sent to landfill under the target figure.

9.             The collection of recycling and organic wastes, are carried out by the Council's Waste Management & Cleansing Division (WM&C) and the measures to effect continuing improvement are therefore within the Council's control.  The management of the HWRCs, including reprocessing and treatment of the collected wastes have all been out-sourced and the Council's control of these rests within the procured contract conditions.

10.        One area of significant improvement in meeting the WG recycling targets specified above was the Council's change to collecting householder's recycling via co-mingled arrangements in September 2011. This change alone has moved a relatively stagnant recycling capture rate to a position where the Council became co-mingled one of the top three improving Councils in Wales within the first 6 months of its introduction. Overall, this service change has resulted in increased performance and public satisfaction, plus significant operational savings. However, this is not the preferred collection method of WG, and recycling campaigners subsequently lodged a Judicial Review against Defra and WG claiming they had failed to meet the separate collection requirement of the revised EU Waste Framework Directive (rWFD). The Judicial review ruled co-mingling recycling acceptable in England and Wales, meeting European legislation with the judgement making very clear that it is at the discretion of the local Waste Collection Authority to decide whether a co-mingled or separate collection is best suited for the locality.  Both methods (Co-mingled and source separated) are now equally lawful and can be used.  The ruling has significantly reduced the risk of the Council failing to meet its recycling target.

11.        Under the remit of the Corporate Risk Management Group (CRMG) the risks associated with the failure to meet the national waste agenda and targets are considered and reviewed. The latest version of the Risk Template for WM&C is shown in Appendix 1 to this report and contains the current measures to control the risk and countermeasures to improve performance and mitigate the risk.

12.        An initial Internal Audit review of the contractual arrangements within the WM&C section was undertaken in 2012 as part of the 2012 / 2013 annual Internal Audit Plan, where areas of weakness were noted.  However, by working closely with Internal Audit these have now been addressed via a report to Cabinet (see Minutes at Appendix 2 [a] [b] and [c]).  It is of note that the latest Audit report states that the areas of weakness have been addressed and 'substantial assurance' can be placed upon the management of risk.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.        Managing and reducing risks effectively helps prevents unnecessary expenditure, reduces insurance claims and premiums and provides better protection for Council staff and members.  The risk themes, scoring, current controls and counter measure to mitigate WM&C risks are reported to the CRGM as shown in Appendix 1 of this report.

14.        The financial penalty for failure to meet a Landfill Division, recycling, preparing for re-use or composting target, would mirror the provisions of the Landfill Allowances Scheme which is set at £200 per tonne for each tonne of waste over an annual allowance expressed in absolute tonnes.  The penalties in relation to the WG Measure apply to the amount of waste which falls short of the statutory target. Therefore should the Council fail to meet both targets then it would be penalised £400 per tonne (£200 for each tonne not recycled and £200 for each landfilled below the respective targets)

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.        The landfilling of waste is an unsustainable approach to waste management.  A recycling and recovery approach is better and enables us to live within our environmental means and ensures that we give more attention to material resource efficiency.  In addition the environmental benefits (including Climate change) will also lead to significant opportunities to save money as well as creating jobs in the environmental industry sector. The recycling of municipal household waste is considered to be a major contributor to achieving sustainable waste management and climate change reduction.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        The EC Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC), Landfill Allowances Scheme (Wales) Regulations 2004 and the WG Waste (Wales) Measure 2010 sets statutory targets for local authorities for the division of waste from landfill, the percentage of municipal waste to be recycled, prepared for re-use and composted as well as making local authorities liable to pay penalties in the event that they fail to meet these targets. The Measure also enables Welsh Ministers to establish other targets in relation to the prevention, reduction, collection, management, treatment or disposal of waste; and impose penalties for non-compliance with such targets.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        There are no equal opportunity implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        Risk Management, as an intrinsic part of corporate governance, is embodied within the principle of community leadership and will be a key competency for the Council to demonstrate as part of the Wales Programme for Improvement. Effective risk management assists the Council to manage its assets more efficiently and thereby promotes the achievement of the Council’s aims in respect of Corporate Resources.

Outcome: Current and future generations of Vale residents and visitors enjoy the built and natural environment of the Vale of Glamorgan and actively protect and maintain them.

Minimising our impact of the environment:

E1          Work with a range of partners to provide appropriate residual waste and recycling collection treatment and disposal services and achieve the national recycling target of 58% (2015/2016)

 

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        This report is within the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        As the proposed Commitment is Vale wide no specific consultation has been carried out with Ward Members.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Clifford Parish, Operational Manager Waste Management and Cleansing

Tel No.  02920 673220

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Accountancy and Resource Management

Corporate Performance Coordinator

Accountant, Building and Visible Services

Operational Manager Legal Services

Group Auditor Audit

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter Director Visible and Housing Services

 

 

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