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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 9 February, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services

Revised Waste Management and Cleansing Charging Arrangements

Purpose of the Report

1. To agree a range of new charges for domestic waste management services.

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet approve the proposal to charge householders as stated within the report.

 

2. That this report be forwarded to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for their consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To assist in meeting the budgetary challenges in the Waste Management and Cleansing Division of Visible Services.

2. To allow for the appropriate Scrutiny Committee to consider the charging proposals.

Background

2. The Council's Revenue Budget for 2014/15 (minute C2212 refers) identified a saving of £100k per annum from 2014/15 from limiting the number of food waste bags provided. Due to a large existing stock it was not necessary to introduce these controls from 1st April 2014 but they should now be introduced from 1st March 2015.

 

3. This report identifies specific proposals for charging for waste management services considered necessary to assist in balancing the budget in this service area for the 2015/16. 

Relevant Issues and Options

4. The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 describe waste which is to be treated, as 'household waste', 'industrial waste' or 'commercial waste'.  It also specifies the types of 'household waste' for which a collection charge may apply. Furthermore, it provides details of those certain types of household waste that are to be treated as commercial waste for the purposes of liability to disposal charges under sections 45(3) and 52(9) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  The 2012 Regulations replaced the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (S.I.1992 / 558) ("the 1992 Regulations").

 

5. Included within the 'household wastes' for which the Council can make a collection charge and that it does not have a statutory duty to collect, are:

(i) Garden waste;

(ii) Any article of waste that exceeds 25kg in weight;

(iii) Any article of waste that would not fit into a cylindrical container 750mm in diameter and 1m in length.

(iv) Bulky household furniture waste (a general non-exhaustive guide to what is and what is not bulky household waste items is given for information in Appendix 1);

6. There are existing Waste Management and Cleansing Service Charges. These charges primarily relate to commercial waste collection services, chargeable additional recycling and composting receptacles, slipway, Pier docking charges and filming fees. .

 

7. The charges mentioned above in Paragraph 6 are currently under review and a further report detailing any proposed increases will be considered at Cabinet in March 2015.

 

8. The Vale is currently one of only two Councils in Wales not to levy a charge for its bulky items collection service, the other being the Isle of Anglesey.  The remaining 20 have varying charges ranging from £10 - £34. The Council has previously charged for this service but these charges were withdrawn in the late 1990's. It is proposed that a charge of £15 for up to 3 bulky waste items is introduced from 1st April 2015. This broadly represents the average rate in Wales for up to 3 items.   

 

Proposed Bulky Items Schedule of Rates:

 

Number of Bulky Items Collected Charge
Up to 3 Items £15
Additional items (maximum of 5) £5 per item


 9. Residents will still be able to take bulky household items to either of the Council's two Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), free of charge.  Another option that is being explored is for the Council to engage and support voluntary organisations to promote the reuse of redundant furniture in the community.  If Officers are successful in obtaining such support the details will be provided to residents via the contact centre when they telephone to arrange a collection.  The contact details of the companies / charities concerned will also be made available via the Council's website.

 

10. The MTFP identifies a sum of £170k in 2015 / 2016 for reviewing charging arrangements for the collection of bulky items.  This amount will be achieved by reducing the current three vehicles and crew fleet by one from 1st February 2015 and then introducing the charges as specified.

 

11. In 2014 / 2015 there were 12,214 bulky item collections (visits to individual households) between 1st April 2014 and 7th January 2015.  On a pro rata basis this represents approximately 16,000 collections for the full year.  It is estimated that the drop off in collections could be between 50% and 60%, with residents choosing to use other options, such as our HWRC sites, charities and new appliance / equipment manufacturers to address bulky waste issues in future.

 

12. With a 60% reduction in collection, £96k will be collected in fees and with a 50% reduction the income will be £120k.  The savings from reducing one vehicle and its crew will be circa £70k per annum.  Together the increased revenue and reduced cost should realise the £170k MTFP figure for 2015 / 2016.

 

13. It is suggested that concessions (as set out in Paragraph 24) will apply in the first year for the Bulky Waste Service.  The first two requests for a bulky waste service for householders eligible for concession in a 12 month period would be free of charge and at the end of 2015, the service and concessions would be reviewed with the findings presented to Cabinet along with any further recommendations.

 

14. In addition it is also recommended that charges are levied as follows:

(i) that blue dog waste bags which are presently issued free of charge, are sold for £1.00 per pack of 50, from the 1st April, 2015.

(ii) that a charge of £1 be imposed for kerbside recycling boxes and kitchen waste caddies will effect from 1st April 2015.

(iii) that after an annual free issue, (based on circa 3 bags a week), any further additional kitchen waste liner bags will be sold by the roll at an equivalent cost of 4p per bag.

(iv) that an administration charge of £15 be introduced for the issue of a HWRC van and trailer permits from the 1st April 2015.

15. Although it is recognised that further service savings may be required in the future to meet additional efficiency savings, the above proposals would make a significant contribution to maintaining the current Waste Management & Cleansing, level of service during 2015 / 2016.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16. It is estimated that the following additional income could be realised from the above proposals:

(i)  Bulky Collections - Implementation of collection charges (100k) and a reduction in fleet (70k).

(ii)  Dog Waste Bags - Implementation of charges based on the 1million bags provided free to residents in 2012/13 would equate to £20,000 new income, based on sales at £1 per 50 bags.

(iii)  Recycling boxes and kerbside caddies - using an assumption that  20% of tenants required a replacement, this would equate to approximately 10,000 boxes issued per year and therefore an income of £10,000.

(iv) Administration charge for HWRC permits issue based on 4,573 permits issued in 2013 / 2014 (4573 x £15) would provide an income of £68,595.

The total estimated income / savings from the charges highlighted above is £268,595.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17. Recycling and composting is by far a more sustainable waste management process in terms of reduced resources and carbon emissions. By reducing the amount of municipal waste going to landfill the chargeable service will have a positive impact on increasing sustainability and reducing climate change environmental impact in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18. The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 describes waste which is to be treated as household waste, industrial waste or commercial waste. They also specify the types of household waste for which a collection charge may be made, and provide that certain types of household waste are to be treated as commercial waste for the purposes of liability to disposal charges under sections 45(3) and 52(9) of the 1990  Act. The 2012 Regulations replaced the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 (S.I1992/558) (“the 1992 Regulations”).

 

19. Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003 contains powers for all local authorities to levy charges for discretionary services. Commercial trading was introduced by separate statutory provisions to facilitate commercial trading which are contained at Section 95 of the same Act. The aim of section 93 is to allow local authorities to recover the costs of providing services or improvements to services that they might not otherwise have been able to justify providing or been in a position to provide

Crime and Disorder Implications

20. The introduction of these charges stated within the report could lead to increased fly-tipping which is a criminal offence.  The levels of fly-tipping will have to be carefully monitored to assess the impact of the changes when introduced.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

21. Concessions will apply for bulky collections for householders in receipt of Income Support, Housing Benefit, Pensions Credit or Council Tax Benefit. Income Support, Job Seeker Allowance (Income Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) / P.I.P, State Pension or Guaranteed Pension Credits. Proof of benefit will be required at the time of booking / collection.

 

22. New Council house tenants will be exempt from recycling container charges, on a one off basis, as the Housing Department will sustain any costs on behalf of their tenants as part of the initial service they provide.

 

23. The introduction of limited concessions for bulky collections coupled with partnership arrangements with voluntary groups and charities will help to address any potential adverse impact on certain demographic sections of our society. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

24. It is a Corporate priority:

 

To work with partners to develop a sustainable community which maximises opportunities for economic growth, social improvement and environmental regeneration and protection.

 

Improvement Objective 27:

 

To protect and enhance the Vale's natural and built environment.

 

Improvement Objective 33:

 

To make best use of our assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities.

 

ACTION:

 

R5 Increase waste recycling rates to 50% and reduce levels of residual waste (2013).

Policy Framework and Budget

25. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26. As the proposed charging policy will be Vale wide no specific Ward Member consultation has been carried out.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Clifford Parish - Operational Manager, Waste Management and Cleansing

Tel: 02920 673220.

Officers Consulted

Accountant - Visible Services and Building

Legal Services - Committee Reports

Group Auditor

Senior Media Officer

Operational Manager Customer Relations

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing.

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