Agenda Item No. 13(c)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 28 FEBRUARY 2018
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 19 FEBRUARY 2018
C235 Revised Waste Management Strategy: The Future Collection Arrangements for Waste and Recycling (nst) (Scrutiny Committee – Environment and Regeneration) -
Cabinet was advised of the outcome of the Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) report and future arrangements for the collection of waste and recycling were considered.
Cabinet on 6 July, 2011 (Minute C1367 refers) revised the Council's Municipal Waste Management Strategy (MWMS) to reflect changes in service delivery that were considered necessary at the time to meet WG’s recycling targets. The 2011 review changed from collecting dry recycling source separated to being collected co-mingled. This was considered part of a 5 year business plan to improve participation and to meet Welsh Government’s (WG) Statutory Recycling Targets (SRT’s) of 52% by 2012/13, 58% by 2015/16 and in the future towards 64% in 2019/20.
Subsequent revisions to the EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD) which provided the legislative framework for the collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste, changed UK legislation through the Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 which were laid before Parliament and WG on 19 July, 2012 and came into force on 1 October, 2012. The amended regulations related to the separate collection of waste. From 1 January, 2015 waste collection authorities had to collect waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately. These duties applied to ensure that waste underwent recovery operations in accordance with the directive and to facilitate or improve recovery where it was technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP).
As a result of changes to the WFD and changes to UK legislation, Cabinet on the 23 February, 2015 (Minute C2660 refers) agreed to carry out a recycling collection assessment to determine whether the existing kerbside collection arrangements were compliant to current legislation. Additionally, it was agreed that Cabinet receive a further report on the outcomes of the assessment and any possible service delivery changes in the future that may be necessary to comply with current legislation. This would be undertaken as part of WG’s Collaborative Change Programme (CCP).
It was always known that the legislative revisions would have an impact on the Council's kerbside collection methods and that it was likely that the Council would have to revert to its previous pre 2011 collection system of source separated recycling and adopt the WG’s ‘Collections Blueprint’ methodology. The Collection's Blueprint was statutory guidance, attached at Appendix A to the report that was introduced by WG that recommended the service profile for the collection of recycling from households via kerbside sort to ensure compliance to the revisions of the WFD and to ensure high rates of high quality recycling, cost savings and improved sustainable development outcomes.
There had been a recent appraisal of the Collections Blueprint commissioned by WG in September 2015 and Eunomia Research & Consulting (Eunomia) was engaged to review the blueprint. Eunomia concluded that the Collections Blueprint provided clear benefits in terms of cost and material quality. The review was attached at Appendix B to the report.
Although the Council had not yet introduced a revised compliant collection scheme, it could demonstrate aspects of TEEP as it had not been economically and practically possible to operate a separate collection system in the absence of a Waste Transfer Station (WTS) in the Vale and that it was not financially possible, being contractually tied to a co-mingled dry recycling processing contract up until March 2018.
The Council had not been subject to challenge as it had been working with WG in conjunction with WRAP to establish the most sustainable and economic process for the Vale. The Council had received support through WG’s CCP to undertake this review and WRAP had undertaken a modelling exercise attached at Appendix C to the report using its own Kerbside Analysis Tool (KAT).
The most economic and sustainable method from the service appraisal were Options 5 and 7 in accordance with WG’s Collections Blueprint methodology. This also provided revenue savings in the longer term once the service was operating to its full efficiency.
Each option included restricted black bags to ensure the Council achieved its next SRT of 64% by 2019/20 and the final target under WG’S current waste strategy “Towards Zero Waste” of 70% by 2024/25. The restriction would be necessary to maximise recycling participation, achieve WG targets under the Waste (Wales) Measure 2010 and avoid penalties of £200 for every tonne under a failed target under The Recycling, Preparation for Re-use and Composting Targets (Monitoring and Penalties) (Wales) Regulations 2011.
The report detailed the following options:
- Option 1 – Restricting black bags only
- Option 1 Atlantic Trading Estate (ATE), Barry - Maintain a co-mingled dry recycling collection service but with a local WTS
- Option 2 – Maintain a co-mingled dry recycling collection service but with separately collected glass and the use of a WTS.
- Option 3 – Implement a twin stream collection system with separately collected glass and the use of a WTS.
- Option 4 – Implement a source separated dry recycling collection service (not including food)
- Option 5, 6 & 7 – Implement a source separated dry recycling collection service as per WG’s Collections Blueprint
Considering all the options, WRAP concluded that the Collections Blueprint was the most favourable option. This provided advantages of;
- Longer term revenue savings of an estimated £400k per annum.
- The Council would qualify for CCP support.
- There would be no compliancy risks in terms of current legislation.
- It will produce high quality recycling material that was likely to be favoured in national and international markets.
- It supported The Well Being Goals set for WG and local authorities in the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
- It supported the drive for a circular economy in Wales and resilience in terms of recyclate markets.
In September 2016, WRAP Cymru undertook a study on behalf of WG into the climate change impacts of recycling services in Wales and was attached at Appendix D to the report. The analysis undertaken in this study suggested that, where performance was modelled using appropriate assumptions and datasets, the use of kerbside sort collection systems could result in a relatively significant climate change benefit, in comparison to the equivalent performance of co-mingled systems.
Although a dry recycling kerbside sort collection system was far more environmentally sustainable, the report considered there were barriers with this system. The kerbside sort collection system was not a popular option with residents as it would require their assistance with separating waste and it required the use of more containers. The report noted that houses of multiple occupancy (HMO’s) would retain a co-mingled service and this had been considered in the service appraisal undertaken by WRAP and considered an acceptable practice in those locations.
To complement the most sustainable collection method, it would be necessary to review any barriers there were at present that restricted recycling participation. It was suggested that the proposed public consultation exercise be used to establish any barriers and these were appropriately reviewed to increase participation, in preparation of the next SRT due in 2019/20.
The latest recycling participation results taken from a survey undertaken in-house by the Waste Management and Cleansing team over a 4-week period during November 2017 identified levels of recycling ward by ward, which was attached at Appendix E to the report, and provided averages of bags placed out for collection.
The average number of black bags put out by households across the Vale was 3 which overall was generally positive. However, the Council would not achieve further targets without instigating a change that required all households to engage with the service. Without implementing a restricted black bag system, it would not be possible to achieve future targets with an educational approach alone. Councils across Wales had, or were considering, introducing similar restrictions per fortnight or 3-weekly or 4-weekly residual collections.
For the Vale it was recommended that a fortnightly service was maintained but restrict households to 2-black bags per fortnight with provision for very large families or exceptional circumstances to accommodate items such as hygiene products and other non-recyclable items. The public consultation outcomes would assist in informing the extent of this additional provision.
The controls of the amount of black bag waste produced by households would also need to be regulated at the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) at Atlantic Trading Estate (Barry) and Llandow Industrial Estate (Llandow) otherwise restrictions at the kerbside would only divert waste to these sites and prevent householders from recycling. WRAP had finished an assessment of the Council’s HWRC’s and they would be providing a report suggesting notable practice which had been successfully implemented at other sites in Wales. A separate report would be presented to Cabinet with the details of the appraisal including any recommendations for consideration. Additionally, the report would provide recommendations to establish an alternative HWRC site in the western Vale as the lease on the current site was due to expire at the end of 2019. The site was not considered viable beyond this date as a result of the site access, the general condition of the estate and a lack of investment from the land owner.
The existing co-mingled dry recycling processing contract was due to expire in March 2018. As Cabinet would need to consider the recommendations of the WRAP service appraisal as well as a future waste management strategy, the Waste Management and Cleansing service had retendered on this contract on the basis of a 1 year contract only with 2 optional years built in thereafter with no guaranteed recycling tonnage. That way Cabinet could give consideration to the future of the service without the hindrance of being contractually restricted to a particular treatment method.
As well as waste contracts, there was a need to consider the implications on the Council’s existing vehicle fleet. It was proposed that if a service change be agreed, any vehicles necessary for a source separated collection service would be funded from the Council’s fleet replacement fund that was an ongoing programme and through capital bids to WG through CCP funding.
If the recommendations of the WRAP report were introduced and there was an opportunity to construct a centrally located WTS, it would assist with the rationalisation of the two operational depots (Court Road Depot and the Alps). The report suggested that if a WTS was developed (subject to funding) that work continue on the feasibility study associated with the rationalisation of the depots in conjunction with the WTS. A further report would then be presented to Cabinet in respect of operating sites, the WTS and operational depots as part of that process.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(3) T H A T authority be granted to the Director of Environment and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport, the Head of Legal Services and the Head of Finance, to submit a capital bid to Welsh Government for Collaborative Change Programme support to finance the new waste infrastructure required, to introduce a source separated dry recycling collection service.
(4) T H A T authority be granted to the Director of Environment and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport, the Head of Legal Services and the Head of Finance to award the Processing of Co-mingled Recyclable Materials Contract from 2018 – 2021 and to refine the documentation as necessary.
(5) T H A T authority be delegated to the Director of Environment and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport, the Head of Legal Services and the Head of Finance to award the Waste Transfer Station Contract from 2018 – 2021 and to refine the documentation as necessary.
(10) T H A T for resolutions 3, 4 and 5 above the use of Article 14.14 of the Council’s Constitution urgency decision procedure be authorised.
Reasons for decisions
(3) To ensure the Council had an opportunity to bid for Collaborative Change Programme capital funding before the end of the financial year.
(4) To ensure continuity of the dry recycling service for the purpose of reprocessing commingled recycling, with provision up until 31 March, 2021.
(5) To minimise the waste services transportation costs and to provide a local cost effective solution for the transfer of waste.
(10) To ensure continuity of recycling services from 1 April, 2018 and to submit a timely capital funding bid to Welsh Government.