Agenda - Epsom and Ewell Borough Council

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					ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                                                              ITEM 06
22 OCTOBER 2008


RECYCLING OF FOOD WASTE, PLASTIC BOTTLES AND CARD: PROGRESS
REPORT
Report of the                                Director of Operations
Contact:                                     Steve Davies
Urgent Decision?                             No
If yes, reason urgent decision required:
Annexes/Appendices                           Annexe 1: Phasing
                                             Annexe 2: Start up plan
                                             Annexe 3: Risks and mitigation
                                             Annexe 4: Survey results
                                             Annexe 5: Refuse and Recycling capacity available
                                             to individual households
Other available papers (not attached):       Full analysis of residents survey and Borough
                                             Insight responses (available in Members’ Room)

REPORT SUMMARY
This report provides the Committee with an update on progress made toward the
introduction of food waste, plastic bottle and card recycling.


                                                                               Notes
RECOMMENDATION (S)

(1)    The Committee is asked to note the start up phasing and
       the arrangements being made to achieve it.

1     Implications for Community Strategy

      1.1   Cost effective recycling is a Key Priority for the Council.

2     Implications for Committee’s Key Service Priorities

      2.1   The measures in this report will enable the Council to increase its recycling and
            composting performance to c50% in a full year.

3     Background

      3.1   In December 2007 the Council agreed, in principle, to introduce a free weekly
            kerbside collection service for food waste and nappies and a free fortnightly
            collection service for plastic bottles and cardboard.

      3.2   In March 2008 the Environment Committee agreed a detailed launch plan
            including provision for consultation through the Citizens Panel and Insight. The
            report included a set-up plan and measures to mitigate risk.




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ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                                                              ITEM 06
22 OCTOBER 2008

    3.3   In July 2008 the Council let the transport contract including vehicles for the new
          service.

4   Progress

    4.1   Arrangements to launch the new service have been developed. Three phases are
          envisaged to enable:

              Operational experience to be gained;

              Mitigation of risk arising from non availability of bins;

              The workload for the Council to be managed.


       Phase             Launch date                        Reason
Phase 1 - two rounds           Feb 09 Launch date as previously envisaged. Selected
covering north and                    area contains fewest restricted streets and blocks
north east of borough                 of flats. Will enable experience to be gained for
(see plan at Annexe                   phase two.
1)
Phase 2 two rounds               June 09 Rescheduled from April to minimise disruption
covering south and                       from bank holidays and the Derby.
west of borough (see
Annexe 1)
Phase 3 flats                    Sept 09 Service will need to be configured to individual
                                         blocks. Timing will ensure resources are available
                                         to achieve this.

    4.2   As reported in the national press, the cost of bins and delivery lead times have
          been increasing. This is believed to be because of higher oil prices and a
          decision by Germany to collect newspaper separately necessitating the purchase
          of more bins for that market..

    4.3   Accordingly, in order to mitigate the risk of non availability of bins, orders have
          been placed for bins for phases one and two. The order allows the number of
          bins to be adjusted at the margin in the light of requirements.

    4.4   In phase one and two each household will receive a standard set of containers
          comprising: a 180 litre bin for plastic and card; a 23 litre food waste bin and a 5
          litre kitchen caddy. These bins are in addition to current bins and bags.

    4.5   Included with the set will be a comprehensive leaflet describing the scheme
          including dos and don’ts.

    4.6   Contact centre staff will be briefed to deal with customer enquiries.

    4.7   The composition of the pack has been determined by the results of the surveys
          and by operational requirements.




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ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                                                                    ITEM 06
22 OCTOBER 2008

    4.8     The set up plan and action being taken to mitigate risk are set out in Annexe 2
            and Annexe 3. These annexes are updated versions of those reported to the
            Committee in March 2008.

    4.9     The responses to the Citizens’ Panel and the Insight surveys have been analysed
            and a summary is set out in Annexe 4. A full analysis has been placed in the
            Members’ room.

    4.10    The major conclusions from the surveys are set out in the table below. The table
            also indicates the action being taken which seeks to strike a balance between
            what is operationally achievable and the needs of individual households.


                Survey finding                                Suggested Response
Over 80% of respondents to both surveys           This high level of awareness and reported
reported that they currently recycled             participation is welcomed.
newspaper and magazines, glass and cans.
Additional kerbside recycling is most likely to   This accords with the Council’s approach.
get residents to recycle more.
79% of residents said that they would be          There is some evidence that many of those
able to accommodate two additional bins           who reported difficulties live in flats. This will
(one for food waste and one for plastic and       be taken into account in developing phase
card). 20% of households said this would be       three. The default plastic and card bin has
difficult.                                        been set at 180 litres (the normal residual bin
                                                  is 240 litres). The officers will discuss
                                                  individual difficulties with the householder in
                                                  the light of initial experience. Possible
                                                  options could include a swop for a smaller
                                                  140 litre bin (the smallest operationally
                                                  acceptable bin)
16% of residents expected their residual bin      The officers will discuss individual difficulties
would be overfull once they were recycling        with the householder in the light of initial
food and plastic and the bin was being            experience. Larger bins are available to
collected fortnightly.                            households of more than 6 people but note
                                                  that the total capacity available to
                                                  households has increased with the
                                                  development of recycling (see Annexe 5)
When asked about concerns about material          As markets and processing facilities become
remaining in their residual bin for a fortnight   established the possibility of establishing
most people referred to additional materials      additional kerbside collection services will be
they wished to be able to recycle with            considered. There could be scope to add to
plastics (other than plastic bottles), foil and   additional materials to the comingled plastic
batteries most frequently referred to.            bottles and card bin or to collect “low
                                                  weight/low volume” materials at bring sites.
Substantially smaller numbers of people           A separate nappy collection service has
referred to hygiene fears with nappies,           been agreed. Publicity material will include
animal/pet waste and sanitary/incontinence        details of how best to protect other types of
products most frequently mentioned.               product.
A few people expressed opposition in               Further publicity and information has an
principle to any element of       fortnightly     important role to play in making sure that the
collection, but these were fewer than those       Council’s proposals are fully understood.
who said they could see no problems with
the new arrangements.



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ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                                                                ITEM 06
22 OCTOBER 2008

                Survey finding                            Suggested Response
78% of respondents did not think they would The default bin size is 180 litres (the
fill a bin with plastic bottles and card in a standard residual bin is 240 litres). This
fortnight.                                    should go some way to meeting concerns
                                              about overcapacity. Any unused space will
                                              enable new materials to be introduced once
                                              processing facilities are available.
15% of people said they would buy These percentages may alter with time and
biodegradable bags to wrap food waste. The experience.
remainder would either wrap food in
newspaper or place it in the bin unwrapped.
Two thirds of households said they wanted a Noted. The Council will be delivering these to
kitchen caddy.                                all households because of the difficulty and
                                              cost of making a distinction.
The best estimate of take up for the nappy Additional capacity may be required to collect
service is 2000 households                    nappies if the level of take up is at this level.
                                              Phase one take up will provide more
                                              information on this possibility.


5   Finance and Manpower Implications

    5.1    The proposals in this report were costed when they were approved. Since then
           there have been a number of events: the transport contract has been let without
           the need to call upon all of the provision made; some gate fees have increased
           due to higher material prices (though the market is volatile, the impact on the
           Council is favourable); gate fees for food waste have reduced (the impact on the
           Council is favourable); the phasing in of the new services has been clarified; the
           cost of bins has increased; SCC has announced that £200,000 capital and
           £100,000 pa revenue until 2010-1 will be available to support the introduction of
           recycling; there may be a need to enhance the capacity of the nappy collection
           service due to a higher projected take up.

    5.2    The net impact of these changes will be calculated as part of the 2009-10 budget
           setting process but they appear positive in their overall impact.

    5.3    The increased cost of bins means that the additional capital from SCC is likely to
           be needed for container purchase.

6   Equalities and Other Legal Implications

    6.1    As with other kerbside service assistance to residents will be made available
           through the pullout system.

7   Sustainability Policy and Community Safety Implications

    7.1    The proposal will increase the councils recycling performance to c50% and
           enable it to meet all known targets until c2015. The tonnage of material sent to
           landfill will be reduced to around 50% of the 2002-3 level by 2010-11.




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ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                                                              ITEM 06
22 OCTOBER 2008

8   Partnerships

    8.1    The Council is working with Surrey County Council as waste disposal authority
           and sharing experiences with other surrey district councils through the Surrey
           Municipal Waste Strategy Group.

9   Risk Assessment

    9.1    The major remaining risks are identified in Annexe 3 together will measures to
           mitigate them.

    9.2    The most significant remaining risks concern the potential non availability of
           vehicles or bins although both are scheduled to be available in time. A final
           decision about precise start dates does not have to be made until after Christmas
           when the leaflet text is finalised.

10 Conclusion and Recommendations

    10.1   Progress is being made to achieve a start up as required by the timetable.


Ward(s) affected: All




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