The Head of Environmental and Housing Property Services presented a report in respect of the proposed creation of a Joint Herefordshire and Worcestershire Waste Partnership Strategy Officer.
During the presentation of the report the following matters were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· The Government had been reviewing national waste collection and disposal services and was proposing a number of changes. The final details remained to be confirmed as the legislation had not yet been agreed and would be subject to further consultation.
· At present each local authority had a significant amount of flexibility to determine local service delivery arrangements and there were a number of differences between local authority areas in respect of arrangement for waste collection and delivery.
· The Government had been consulting on a range of options that would result in greater consistency across the country in terms of waste services.
· As part of this process the Government was considering requiring Councils to provide garden waste services to residents for free and the potential requirement for all Councils to introduce a food waste collection service.
· Initial proposals to require Councils to have weekly waste collection services, rather than the fortnightly waste collection service that was in place in Redditch, were not being pursued further by the Government.
· However, should the changes suggested by the Government come into effect this would result in a loss of income of approximately £40,000 from the garden waste collection service and a potential increase in costs of waste collection services by approximately £580,000.
· Redditch Borough Council had worked with other Councils in Herefordshire and Worcestershire for a number of years on a Joint Municipal Waste Strategy and Waste Partnership. This helped to ensure consistency in local service delivery.
· The Councils in Herefordshire and Worcestershire were aiming to work together to respond to the Government consultation process and to ensure consistency in the delivery of any future additional services required, such as the food waste collection service.
· The proposed postholder would co-ordinate this work on behalf of the local authorities in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
After the report had been presented the following issues were discussed in more detail:
· The Government review of waste delivery services and the fact that any changes would represent the most significant alteration to the delivery of waste services since 2007.
· The need for the Councils in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to work together to ensure consistency in service delivery locally.
· The requirement for Councils to introduce a food waste collection service by 2023, under the Government’s proposals, and the resource implications of this requirement for the Council.
· The risk that a food waste collection service would encourage an increase in the amount of waste that each household disposed of during a month.
· The need for residents to be educated about waste collection services, particularly any new services that the Council might be required to introduce in the future.
· The potential challenge for Councils locally in respect of storage for food waste.
· The food that would need to be collected in a potential food waste collection service. The Committee was informed that this would need to include cooked food, meat and foodstuffs that could have been composted.
· The size of the bin that would be used for a food waste collection service. Members were advised that these would be relatively small 25 litre bins.
· The amount of food waste that tended to be collected nationally. The Committee was informed that the average weight of the food waste collected per household was 2.5 to 4.5 kilos per week.
· The penalties that could be issued to residents who did not dispose of food waste correctly. Members were advised that information had not yet been provided about whether Councils could issue penalties or the nature of those penalties.
· The challenge that some residents would encounter when trying to accommodate an extra bin for the disposal of food waste.
· The joint communications plan that had been proposed for Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Officers confirmed that Redditch Borough Council would be joining other local Councils in support of this plan.
1) Redditch Borough Council agree to the establishment of a Joint Waste Strategy Officer to work on behalf of the partnership of all 8 Local Authorities in Herefordshire and Worcestershire;
2) Redditch Borough Council allocates £8,000 per annum for a fixed term of three years; and
3) Redditch Borough Council will consider requests for additional funding to support further work which may be identified and proposed via the partnership Senior Waste Officer Group.