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Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests
No disclosures were made.
Declarations - The Party Whip
No declarations were made.
Questions Under Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.16
No questions had been submitted.
Councillor Needham arrived at the meeting at 6.09pm.
To note the scrutiny scope document for the Panel, agreed by Scrutiny Commission at its meeting on 11th October 2021 and updated to list Panel membership and meeting dates.
Considered and discussed, the scrutiny scope document for the Panel, agreed by Scrutiny Commission at its meeting on 11th October 2021 and updated to list Panel membership and meeting dates.
Matters suggested to look at/list on the scrutiny scope document were confirmed as matters for the County Council decision as waste disposal authority (provision of recycling and household waste sites, use of incinerator). These were excluded from scrutiny by the Panel, but this did not preclude making representations to other bodies. Confirmed that parties worked together, illustrated by forthcoming draft Leicestershire Waste and Recycling Strategy. Whether the Council’s fleet would be suitable given the changes proposed by Environment Bill was appropriate for consideration under item 7 in the agenda.
1. Scrutiny scope document be noted;
2. Panel to consider forthcoming draft Leicestershire Waste and Recycling Strategy at a later meeting. This included modelling of performance/carbon impact of different recycling arrangements/options and would be useful to Panel’s scrutiny.
In accordance with the scrutiny scope document, to consider a breakdown and analysis of the Council’s waste and recycling data, benchmarked against similar local authorities.
Presentation of the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces.
In accordance with the scrutiny scope document (key tasks), considered and discussed, a breakdown and analysis of the Council’s waste and recycling data, benchmarked against similar local authorities, via a presentation of the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces.
Key points of discussion:
(i) Noted, downward trend in percentage recycled, particularly in 2016, reason not known, could be affected by change in regulations/categories.
(ii) Increase in Charnwood garden waste charge over time had not adversely affected subscriber numbers.
(iii) Current 50% recycling target set by EU Waste Directive in 2009. New Environment Bill proposed 65% (by 2035).
(iv) Composition of waste important. Reference to significant effect of garden waste on percentage recycled.
(v) Noted, peak performance in percentage recycled in 2011/12 for all authorities listed, reason not known. Reference to dry summers affecting garden waste tonnage. Some fluctuations could be due to factors not within Council’s control.
(vi) Noted, percentage recycled excluding garden waste, NWLDC significantly lower, only authority listed that did not have co-mingled collection (separation/sorting by residents required). Concern that the latter system being proposed in Environment Bill.
(vii) Noted, gradual decline waste sent for composting since 2016/17. Difficult to know whether that had been impacted by any increase in home composting. NWLDC performed best, only authority listed with free of charge garden waste service.
(viii) Noted, Charnwood collected most tonnage residual waste due to being biggest district and uptick of 10% due to Covid, but residual waste per household comparatively low in Charnwood, positive.
(ix) Noted, comparatively, Charnwood recycling rates reasonably good, concern that 65% proposed by Environment Bill would be difficult to achieve.
The presentation and discussion be noted.
In accordance with the scrutiny scope document, to consider the proposals in Environment Bill regarding waste management and changes this will necessitate.
Presentation of the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces.
Reading for members of the Panel in advance of the meeting is attached (DEFRA – Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England May 2021).
In accordance with the scrutiny scope document (key tasks), considered and discussed, the proposals in Environment Bill regarding waste management and changes this would necessitate, via a presentation of the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces.
In advance of the meeting, members of the Panel had been asked to read: DEFRA – Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England May 2021 (included at item 7 on the agenda).
Key points of discussion:
(i) Noted, likely to have considerable impact, including in respect of costs.
(ii) Noted, problem of over-consumption increasing, importance of establishing a more circular economy, better that was done, less new raw materials needed.
(iii) Reference to Council being in the middle, between manufacturers/Government and waste disposal authority (County Council). Limited impact Charnwood as waste collection authority could have. Unable to decide type of packaging being produced or disposal facilities. Noted, this Council could have influence, work to play its part, ensure residents had opportunity to manage waste in a responsible way.
(iv) Noted, effect of waste and how it was managed on carbon emissions.
(v) Noted, Environment Bill included proposals to encourage packaging that was easier to recycle, Extended Producer Responsibility, to be explained later in presentation.
(vi) Difficult to find out how much recycled material was being used in packaging.
(vii) Waste hierarchy outlined, better to prevent waste or reuse items than to recycle, including in respect of carbon footprint. Recovery of, for example, energy from waste better than disposal. Noted, around 70% Leicestershire’s residual waste incinerated for energy/heat recovery. No revenue to Charnwood from that, cost to County Council.
(viii) Noted, Environment Bill expectation/legal obligation was improved recycling rates despite the ideal being prevention or reuse of items first, difficult for waste collection authority. Better to consider how much waste a household produced than how much was being recycled? View that correct to consider prevention and reuse of items, even if that adversely affected recycling rates.
(ix) Currently, Charnwood recycling at around 43%, step change would be needed to achieve 65% proposed in Environment Bill. Significant change had been affected in the past, had started with one bin that all waste went in.
(x) Proposed Deposit Return Scheme and likely issues for Council outlined. Hopefully assist people in understanding value of packaging. Understood that promised burden funding from Government would not cover loss of revenue from receiving less materials via household waste collection. Noted, this was more a risk for the County Council. View that proposal was good idea, despite likely impact on Charnwood’s recycling rates, better that recycled than not.
(xi) Proposed Extended Producer Responsibility outlined, “polluter pays”. Levy for hard to recycle items. Noted, most of recycling collected was packaging, could be significant source of income to Council, offset increased costs anticipated from other elements of Bill. Not much detail yet on how payments would be decided/made, possibly based on what collected and its composition. Confirmed that Council already recorded this information via sample checks. Unclear how what manufacturers were ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Further Panel Meetings and Key Task Planning
To schedule the key tasks in the scrutiny scope document to be considered at the next meeting of the Panel and to consider any work members of the Panel will undertake in advance of that meeting.
Further scheduled meetings of the Panel are as follows (all at 6.00pm):
14th December 2021
2nd February 2022
15th March 2022
26th April 2022 (final meeting to agree Panel’s recommendations and report).
Considered and discussed, the key tasks in the scrutiny scope document to be considered at the next meeting of the Panel and any work members of the Panel would undertake in advance of that meeting.
1. Key tasks to be considered at next Panel meeting on 14th December 2021:
“Investigate other local authorities that are considered to be leaders in waste management and look at ways to apply to Charnwood Borough Council, taking into account demographics” – via a presentation of the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces.
“Investigate new research, technology and methods that could help improve our recycling rates” – via investigation by members of the Panel prior to the meeting, the Chair would provide guidance on what was required in this respect.
2. A visit by members of the Panel to the Casepak Materials Recycling Facility be arranged as soon as possible.
3. Draft Leicestershire Waste and Recycling Strategy be scheduled for consideration at Panel’s meeting on 2nd February 2022 – via presentation of the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces.
4. Further scheduled meetings of the Panel, as set out on the agenda, be noted.