To receive an update from Councillor J Chesworth, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Operational Services.
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Operational Services, the Chief Executive and the General Manager, Joint Waste Service to the Committee.
The Portfolio Holder reported that background documentation had been circulated to Members in advance of the meeting setting out:
· An overview of the Government’s National Resources, Waste Strategy and Consultations; and
· Details of a review of the Joint Waste Management Service with Lichfield District Council.
The Chief Executive highlighted the following points from the Government Consultation documents for the Committee’s consideration:
· Four consultation documents had been issued in late 2018 regarding consistency of collections, deposit return scheme, extended producer responsibility and a plastics tax;
· The Government was considering whether to have a mandatory food waste collection form each household;
· Consideration was also being given to whether green garden waste collections should be free to residents;
· Consideration was given to the greater separation of dry recycling materials;
· Whether there should be statutory guidance on minimum service standards;
· That the implications of the proposals were currently unknown, however, the changes could be a fairly fundamental change and the Government had reassured Local Authorities that there would be additional funding to cover any additional requirements;
· An environmental bill introductory policy paper had been issued which indicated that environmental principles would be embedded in future policy making with a new direction for resources and waste management to support the economy to become a more circular economy;
· There was the potential that the recycling market could become more challenging and potentially more costly;
· The Chief Executive requested that this item remain on the Committee’s work plan.
The Committee noted the update and considered the following issues:
· The importance of households continuing to reuse / recycle their food waste where possible;
· Whether the Council could consider recycling metal waste. The Chief Executive reported that this had been previously considered but had not been considered appropriate at the time;
· The different initiatives from retailers and others to produce recyclable bags and wrappers for magazines and whether the Council’s current waste service could accommodate the new initiatives. It was reported that this would be determined by whether the recycling facilities would accept the waste;
· The drive from the Government to improve the quality of recycling;
· The Government’s objective to standardise collections and to standardise packaging to simplify the disposal market and the impact this had on the technology used to sort waste;
· The Government’s objective to recycle food waste via anaerobic digestion in order to address the issue of food waste which appeared to be one of the Government’s clear objectives from its consultations;
· The economics involved in recycling food waste compared to garden waste;
· Whether there was any potential for there to be waste solutions working across wider inter-authority arrangements, which could look to the disposal authorities to take a lead role (in our area this was Staffordshire County Council).
The Chair thanked the Portfolio Holder, the Chief Executive and the General Manager for their update. The Portfolio Holder and General Manager left the meeting.