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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 17 November, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services

 

Waste Management and Cleansing - Municipal Recycling Bring Bank Sites

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To review the current municipal recycling bring site arrangements in light of on-going user problems and forthcoming budget challenges.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet agree to the removal of all the current municipal bring sites as from 31st January 2015, with the exception of those located within the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC's) at Barry and Llandow.

2.         That a further report be provided to Cabinet six months after the removal of the sites detailing the full implications of the decision and in particular the affects on recycling performance.

3.         That the report be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for their consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To authorise the removal of bring sites and to better utilise existing kerbside collection and HWRC arrangements, thereby also reducing operational costs.

2.         To assess the full implications of the decision with particular reference to recycling performance.

3.         To seek the views of the relevant Scrutiny Committee in respect to this proposal. 

Background

2.         Cabinet resolved on the 20th May 2013 (min no C1341 refers).

(3) T H A T the current service arrangements with Biffa Municipal Ltd for the servicing of the Council’s recycling bring sites be terminated.

(4) T H A T a further report be presented to a future Cabinet meeting on the reduction of recycling bring sites.

Reasons for decisions

(3) To permit this service to be brought back 'in house’ to enable financial savings to be made.

(4) To enable Cabinet to consider and agree any reductions in recycling bring sites.

3.         The agreement to terminate the contractual arrangements between the Council and Biffa Municipal Waste Ltd and to bring the service 'in-house' saved the Council £100k per annum.  It did not however address any of the site misuse problems being experienced or the escalating public dissatisfaction and increasing costs for contaminated recycling and fly-tipping.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The provision of local recycling bring sites is largely historic with many sites introduced long before the current comprehensive kerbside recycling arrangements were put in place.

5.         When the service reverted to the Council from Biffa Municipal Waste Ltd on 1st December 2013 there was a total of 30 bring sites in operation, ranging from a single bank within a public house car park to multiple banks at major supermarkets.

6.         When servicing the bring banks it became apparent that many, if not all of the isolated sites were either being used by commercial undertakings or were being used insufficiently, and the relevant ward Members were consulted in December 2013 as to whether these sites should be removed. The sites in question are listed below:

1.  The Three Horseshoes Inn, Moulton;

2.  The Carpenters Arms, Eglwys Brwys Road, Llantwit Major

3.  Dinas Powys Golf Club, Highways Avenue, Dinas Powys

4.  The Bush Inn Church Crescent St Hilary (already entered into a private contract with Biffa for recycling collections)

5.  Penarth Conservative Club, 15 Stanwell Road, Penarth

6            .  Manor House Hotel, Sully Road, Penarth

7.   Llandow Caravan Park, Llandow Trading Estate

8.   Sea View Labour Club, Lower Pyke Street

9.   Acorn Caravan Park, Rose Dew Farm, Llantwit Major

7.         The overwhelming majority of Ward Members' responses advised of no objections to their removal, with the exception of the site located in Llancarfan.  All these sites have now been removed.  Since doing so, there have been no service requests or complaints relating to their removal.

8.         This action reduced the number of sites to 21 and this was further reduced when the owners of sites at Island View Caravan Park and the Spinney Holiday Park instructed that their sites be removed due to new fees introduced from 1st April 2014.  The number of sites remaining is therefore 19 and details of these sites and their location are shown attached at Appendix A.

9.         All bring sites, have suffered from an element of public fly-tipping and abuse and over the last few years have needed to be regularly cleansed by the Council's Waste Management & Cleansing (WM&C) team, representing an additional workload. There are a number of 'bring sites' within the Vale of Glamorgan that suffer significantly from this illegal and anti-social behaviour, particularly those located at:

1.  Former Court Road CA Site, Barry

2.  Cliff Tops Car Park, Penarth

3.  The Butts, Cowbridge

4.  The Green, Partridge Road, St Athan

10.      More recently there has been increased abuse and fly-tipping experienced at the Morrison's Car park site and Bron y Mor site at the Knap in Barry.  Problems at these two sites and others have now resulted in up to 5 tonnes of fly-tipped waste being removed weekly.  There are also significant contamination problems with many loads of recycling having to be landfilled.

11.      Prior to the introduction of kerbside co-mingled recycling collections to all domestic and commercial users in 2011 'bring bank’ sites made a significant contribution to the Council's overall dry recycling tonnage. But since co-mingled recycling collections their contribution has been reducing and during 2013 they only yielded a total of 535.74 tonnes, comprising 0.89% of the overall dry recycling tonnage collected by the Council.

12.      The public abuse of these sites has resulted in significant enforcement and clean-up costs with many resident complaints, and their continued provision is considered more of a burden than an advantage to the Council. The only customer contacts that have been received in respect to them are complaints of dissatisfaction. Whilst there will be some concerns from users as to their loss, the majority of those who live in the vicinity of these sites are expected to welcome any decision to remove them.

13.      A short survey of the Council's in Wales has identified that 11 of the 22 Local Authorities now only provide municipal recycling bring bank facilities at their HWRC's.  Blaenau Gwent removing their bring bank provision in November 2013 and Denbighshire having done so this October.

14.      The Council's two HWRC's (Barry and Llandow) already offer a bring bank service to any residents for whom the current weekly kerbside collection arrangements are insufficient. As our HWRC's are controlled it would also be possible to work with the HWRC operator, Biffa, to provide for better practice thereby improving the performance of 'bring bank’ site services.  It may also be possible to identify new opportunities in service provision, such as increasing the materials collected. Further, the health and safety of users would also be enhanced when compared to the current 'un-staffed' provision.

15.      Reducing the site numbers to any extent is not likely to greatly improve the proper use of our 'un-staffed' sites.  Concentrating, for example, on only the larger sites at major supermarkets would require additional site management investment, such as CCTV in order to protect the sites from fly-tipping which would likely increase.  This would be cost prohibitive at a time when the Council is facing severe financial challenges and for a service that the Council has no statutory duty to provide.

16.      Due to the current comprehensive recycling kerbside collection service, the problems being experienced at sites and the availability of 2 HWRC sites at opposite ends of the Vale, it is proposed to remove all the remaining bring sites from 31st January 2015.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

17.      The existing service is not cost efficient neither does it provide a significant contribution to the Council’s overall recycling performance, to justify its continued provision. Its withdrawal would enable the service to better balance its budget and to concentrate on the continued provision of statutory services going forward.

18.      The MTFP includes a projected budget saving of £20k for bring sites in 2015/16. The majority of this saving will come from a reduction in landfilled waste which is currently flytipped at these sites.  As previously mentioned £100k has already been saved from bringing the service back in house.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

19.      The recycling of municipal household waste is considered to provide a major contribution to achieving sustainable waste management, minimising its impact on climate change.  The proposals could reduce the amount of dry recycling collected, however, as much of the existing material is contaminated, changing the remote collections to our HWRC sites and thereby better controlling the use of specific recycling containers could offset at least part of any reduction. Removing the sites may also encourage greater use of the weekly kerbside collection service for recyclable materials.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.      There is no legal duty on the Council to provide a municipal bring bank collection service and given that the Council's kerbside recycling collection service is available to 100% of our householders, this alone would comply with any EU, UK and / or Welsh Government legislation imposing a duty or responsibility on the Council to collect and / or recycle municipal waste.

21.      The Council does have a general legal duty under 'Duty of Care' and 'Health and Safety' legislation to carry out risk assessments for all bring bank sites to identify measures required to comply with all health and safety requirements. This is an impossible task where sites are open, unsupervised and subject to abuse and there can be no guarantee hazardous wastes are not being deposited and this could leave the Council at risk of enforcement action by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and / or Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.      It is likely that the removal of the bring banks will reduce the amount of fly-tipping offences currently being experienced at the site locations.  Although it is anticipated that certain sites will still be subject to such problems even though they are no longer operational, due to the length of time that they have been in use.  This is a problem which should rectify itself over time.  It is not envisaged that general fly-tipping will increase by any significant amount, though this will have to be closely monitored.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.      It is not believed that there are any equal opportunity implications as a result of this report.  However, as this decision represents a change in policy for recycling bring site provision an assessment will be undertaken as to how this decision could affect members of the public with protected characteristics.  Members of the public with less storage capacity for recyclable material are likely to use the current sites more frequently though evidence suggests that the vast majority of the site visits are made by motor vehicles.  Therefore, such members of the public will be able to travel to one of the Council's HWRC sites as a suitable alternative.

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Minimising our impact on the environment:

E1 Work with a range of partners to provide appropriate residual and recycling collection treatment and disposal services and achieve national recycling target of 58%. (2015/16)

Policy Framework and Budget

25.      This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26.      Consultation was carried out with all Ward Members that had isolated 'bring bank' site(s) within their Wards in December 2013 and overwhelmingly supported the removal of the isolated bins. As the recommendations contained within this report are Vale wide no further specific ward member consultation has been undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Clifford Parish - Operational Manager, Waste Management and Cleansing

Tel - 02920 673 220

 

Officers Consulted

Accountant - Visible Services

Legal Services - Committee Reports

Group Auditor

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing.

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