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									Public Consultation Document                                                               October 2005

                         FOR GATESHEAD COUNCIL
                                2005 – 2025
Last year 120,000 tonnes of municipal waste was produced in the Gateshead area. This figure
includes all of the household rubbish, as well as the recyclable and compostable materials
produced by householders in the area, together with a much smaller contribution (around 25%)
from street sweepings and litter, bulky household waste collections and commercial waste that
the Council collects. That means, on average, well over one tonne of rubbish is produced by
every household in Gateshead, equivalent to more than the weight of an average sized car,
every year! Over 80% of this waste is buried in the ground at landfill sites. However this cannot
go on forever. To find out why, how it will affect you and what we are going to do about it read

This document provides you with an opportunity to:

    1. Understand Gateshead‟s Draft Municipal Waste Management Strategy
    2. Understand what we intend to do to address the problem of dealing with waste
    3. Give us your views and feedback by completing the form at the end of this leaflet

The need for increasing environmental responsibility, new legislation and rising waste disposal costs
mean that we must find alternatives to mainly burying Gateshead‟s household waste in the ground – a
practice known as landfilling. Gateshead has developed a draft strategy that provides the framework
for managing waste sustainably for the next 20 years and beyond. In accordance with good practice,
the aim will be to manage Gateshead's waste locally, however treatment and disposal may not be
restricted only to the local area.
The draft strategy focuses on moving away from the reliance on landfill as a means of disposal,
focussing instead on waste prevention, reduction, re-use and recycling and considering energy
recovery from any remaining waste. This approach is known as moving up the “Waste Management
Hierarchy”. This is illustrated below and some examples of each activity are provided in the text box

                               Figure 1: The Waste Management Hierarchy

                                                                              Best Option

                                                                               Worst Option

Gateshead Council                                                                           Page 1 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                               October 2005

The Waste Management Hierarchy:

1. Reduction: The most effective environmental solution is to prevent or reduce waste
                  generation in the first place. For example, not buying single use products (such
                  as disposable barbeques), choosing detergent refill products rather than
                  bottles, or registering with the Mailing Preference Service to reduce the amount
                  of junk mail you receive.

2. Re-use:        Where further reduction is not possible some materials and products can be
                  used again for either the same or a different purpose. For example, re-using
                  plastic or glass containers for storage, re-using old carrier bags as bin liners
                  and taking a ‘bag-for-life’ to the shops.

3. Recycling &
Composting: Where direct re-use is not possible, materials can be recycled - used in
                  production processes as secondary raw materials, saving precious resources
                  and energy, or bio-degradable materials (such as green garden waste) can be
                  composted (through use of a home compost bin, green waste collection or
                  taking material to a civic amenity site).

4. Recovery: If reduction, re-use or recycling is not possible, the next best thing is to regain
                  as much value from the waste as possible through energy recovery, preferably
                  directly but failing that, after it has been landfilled.

5. Disposal: If none of the previous options offer an appropriate solution only then should
                  the waste be disposed of to landfill.

So what has changed? Why can’t we just continue to landfill all our waste?

Over 80% of Gateshead‟s household waste is currently sent to landfill. Landfill space isn‟t endless and
alternative ways to deal with this ever-growing problem are vital. In addition, once buried, the potential
for recovery of the inherent material resource and energy source is lost forever. Essentially, it is like
throwing away money. Although landfills today are well managed, they are still not deemed as the
most environmentally friendly option.

We have been set challenging targets by the Government and the European Union (EU); the EU
„Landfill Directive‟ sets targets in 2010, 2013 and 2020 for reducing the amount of biodegradable waste
that it sends to landfill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Biodegradable waste, which makes up
over 68% of our household rubbish, includes paper, card, textiles, garden and most kitchen waste. To
ensure that we meet these targets, the government has set local authorities annual targets for reducing
waste to landfill.

Landfilling waste is set to become the most expensive option for dealing with residual waste. This is
because the costs of landfilling waste will more than double within the next 5 to 10 years due to: a
shortage of sites; increase in the rate of Landfill Tax paid by local authorities; required increases in
environmental controls; and a restriction to the amount of biodegradable waste that can be landfilled
under a scheme known as the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS).

The impact of reducing landfill availability is illustrated in Figure 2.

Gateshead Council                                                                            Page 2 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                                               October 2005

Figure 2: Predicted Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) arisings for Gateshead and Landfill allowance limits


                                                                                                        MSW arisings
                                                                                                        LATS allowance





























What implications does this have?

     At the current predicted levels of waste growth Gateshead would need to divert an additional
      40,000 tonnes of waste from landfill by 2013, and 80,000 tonnes of waste from landfill by 2020 in
      order to meet Government targets and to prevent having to purchase additional landfill allowances.

     If we do not comply with new Government targets, Gateshead Council could be fined £150 for
      every tonne by which we exceed our target every year. For example, missing the 2020 target as
      predicted above would mean a fine of over £8million per year. This fine would either have to be
      paid for by reducing Council services or increasing Council Tax.

Having in place a robust strategy framework will ensure that we continue to meet and exceed
our statutory targets and manage our waste in a more cost effective and sustainable manner.
Gateshead Council has developed a draft strategy with the help and advice of independent
waste experts and we are now in the process of running consultation exercises with YOU – the
residents of Gateshead – to present our suggestions for sustainable waste management over
the coming decades.

What is Landfill Tax?
Landfill Tax is a tax payable for each tonne of waste sent to landfill and was introduced by the Government in 1996
as a way of encouraging more sustainable means of waste management through recognising the hidden financial
effects of the environmental impact of landfill. The landfill tax is currently £18/tonne, and it will increase by at least
£3/tonne each year until the tax reaches £35/tonne by 2010. Consequently, the increase in landfill tax will cause a
significant increase in waste disposal costs and will provide a further incentive to move to more sustainable means
of waste treatment in the near future.

Gateshead Council                                                                                            Page 3 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                                       October 2005

What role does recycling have to play?

The Council has set a target to recycle 20% of waste by 2010. In order to achieve this target we will
need to both provide sufficient recycling facilities/services to enable the required weight of material to
be collected and encourage additional households to participate in these schemes.

In the short term the Council will increase the performance of its existing recycling services by:

   “Bring” sites (mainly in car parks next to supermarkets) – Maintain and enhance appearance of the
    existing service provision, and increase the number of sites by developing new locations where
    new development permits this approach. No targets for collecting material have been set because
    the amount of material collected has been significantly reduced since the introduction of the „Kerb-
    It‟ recycling scheme.

   „Kerb-It‟ kerbside scheme for dry recyclables - The target is to increase the amount of material
    collected from 6,000 tonnes per year in 2003/04 to 8,400 tonnes per year by 2007/08.

   „Green-It‟ kerbside scheme for garden waste – The scheme started operation in 2005, and the
    target is to collect 7,400 tonnes of material per year by 2009/10. There are currently no plans to
    collect kitchen waste.

   Waste & Recycling Centres (WRCs) – There are currently no plans to provide additional WRC sites
    in Gateshead beyond existing facilities at Campground and Blaydon. Recycling of waste electrical
    and electronic equipment (WEEE) will increase due to the need to meet both the requirements of
    the WEEE Directive and the requirements of hazardous waste regulations.

Gateshead Council will also continue to support related recycling and composting initiatives, for
example, promoting Christmas tree recycling in collaboration with local garden centres and the
voluntary sector.

The national publicity/education campaign aimed at increasing the number of people who participate in
recycling schemes is the “Recycle Now” campaign. This was launched in September 2004 by the
Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to replace the „Rethink Rubbish‟ campaign. The
„Recycle Now‟ campaign has a distinctive logo, and its website provides both information for the public
and resources which local authorities can use and adapt to compliment their existing waste promotion
Our current recycling services and short term improvements will clearly be insufficient to meet future recycling
and landfill diversion targets.

Figure 3: New recycling campaign logo

Gateshead Council                                                                                    Page 4 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                                 October 2005

What impact does waste growth have?

The average rate of increase in municipal waste arisings over the past 5 years has been around 3% per
year. If the amount of waste continues to increase by an average of 2% per year between now and
2020, the total amount of municipal waste that we will produce will increase from its current level of
about 120,000 tonnes per year to about 160,000 tonnes per year by 2020 – a 33% increase! Because
of this Gateshead is committed to reducing waste growth. The impact of future waste growth can be
seen in Figure 4 below.

If we cannot landfill our waste, why don’t we recycle and compost it all?

Although we do recycle, compost and reuse, it is not the complete answer to the need to move away
from landfill. There is still a significant amount of „residual‟ waste left that cannot be recycled,
composted or re-used – take a look in your bin: there‟s not much we can do with sticky meat wrappings
and broken toys. Certain items that could normally be recycled can become contaminated and are
unsuitable for recycling – for example newspapers we use to stand paint tins on when decorating.

How much waste will be left over that we cannot recycle or compost?

Even if we achieve a 20% recycling rate and a gradual reduction in waste growth, we will still be
generating a significant tonnage of waste requiring treatment and disposal – this is known as Residual
Waste. At the current predicted levels of waste growth Gateshead would need to divert an additional
40,000 tonnes of waste from landfill by 2013, and 80,000 tonnes of waste from landfill by 2020.

The residual waste fraction requiring further management is illustrated in Figure 4 below.

Figure 4: Graph of Gateshead projected MSW arisings and treatment methods

             120,000                                                             Maximum landfill

              60,000                                                             Recycling















Gateshead Council                                                                             Page 5 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                              October 2005

So what are the aims of the Draft Waste Management Strategy?

The Gateshead Draft Municipal Waste Management strategy sets a number of goals:

   To have communities living in and contributing to a clean, pollution free, attractive and sustainable
   To develop a more sustainable system of waste management, promoting waste minimisation in the
    first instance, encouraging re-use and recycling, and minimising the quantity of waste disposed of
    without recovering value from it
   To meet the challenging targets set by Government to recover value from waste and set in place
    arrangements to divert increasing amounts of biodegradable waste from landfill
   To ensure that “Best Value” principles are applied, and to secure an economic, efficient and
    effective waste management service
   To work in partnership with others in the provision of the service, including government, other local
    authorities, the community sector, and the private sector
   To meet the increasing expectations of residents, and to seek to engage the wider community via
    the Council‟s Strategic Partnership arrangements.

What are the options for how the strategy is implemented in Gateshead?

The amount of landfilled waste needs to be reduced by increasing recycling and treating it to recover
products or energy. Possible options for reducing the amount of landfilled waste to a level where we
could meet future yearly statutory landfill diversion targets :

   Achieve a high level of recycling and landfill the remaining material without treating it. However,
    even if we were to achieve a hypothetical recycling level of 60% by 2015 (the current national
    average figure is 23%) we would still need to either purchase allowances from other authorities or
    treat the remaining waste in order to meet our landfill allowance targets after 2016.
   Maintain or increase the current level of recycling, and send a high percentage of the remaining
    waste to a regional energy-from-waste (EfW) plant or a new plant constructed in the local area.
    Energy (as electricity) would be recovered from this waste (it may well also be possible to recycle
    most of the ash as construction products).
   Increase the current level of recycling and send the residual waste to an existing regional facility.
    This option would only be available to Gateshead Council following a formal contract procurement
    exercise that would also be open to other waste disposal authorities to secure this finite capacity.
   Increase the current level of recycling and process the remaining waste using a
    mechanical/biological treatment (MBT or BMT) plant to produce refuse derived fuel (RDF) and
    compost products. The residual material from the process plant would be landfilled.

What has been done to help find a solution?

To help identify the best option for managing our waste in the future, we have:

   Assessed treatment options for the residual waste.
   Assessed markets for materials produced by recycling/composting schemes.
   Assessed markets for the products produced by waste treatment plants.
   Commissioned a study to identify the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) for managing
    Gateshead‟s waste.

Gateshead Council                                                                           Page 6 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                                               October 2005

What are the pluses and minuses of the options considered?

The following table summarises the main advantages and disadvantages of some of the treatment
technologies for residual waste that Gateshead has considered:

         Technology                              Advantages                                   Disadvantages
    Composting                   Composting is a simple technology and is         Markets for the compost product
                                 very well established.                           will be limited
    Anaerobic Digestion          Markets are available for the electricity that   Technology not yet well established
                                 is produced.                                     for household waste

                                                                                  Markets for the compost product
                                                                                  will be limited.
    Production of a refuse       The technology is well established               Markets for the fuel product are
    derived fuel (RDF) product                                                    currently limited
    using MBT/BMT
    Energy from Waste            The technology is well established               Negative public opposition

                                 Markets are available for the electricity that
                                 is produced.
    Gasification                 Markets are available for the electricity that   Technology is not yet proven with
                                 is produced.                                     household waste.
    Steam treatment              Range of potential markets for the main          Technology is not yet fully
    (including Autoclave)        product                                          established

                                 A higher proportion of dry recyclable            Markets are currently limited
                                 materials can be recovered for recycling

So what is the proposed approach?

Our preferred options for managing waste are as follows:
 Reduce the growth in waste arisings through the use of waste reduction and minimisation
 Increase the current level of recycling and composting towards our target of 20% by 2010
 Treat the remaining residual waste to ensure that Gateshead meets yearly UK Government landfill
    targets between now and 2020
 Provide sufficient future landfill capacity for any waste which is either unsuitable for recycling or
    treated to recover value from it.

Gateshead Council is committed to encouraging residents to reduce the amount of rubbish they
produce. We will continue to work in partnership with community and other regional groups to reduce
waste and promote reuse, including support for home composting and community waste reduction
initiatives such as white goods refurbishment.

In parallel with the development of the draft strategy we have been undertaking discussions with
several nearby local authorities about the possibility of a joint, long term waste management contract.
Bearing in mind the significant benefits which can accrue from joint working it is important to ensure that
our draft strategy is not rendered too restrictive by prematurely ruling out some waste management
solutions and inadvertently inhibiting flexibility that may be needed to facilitate joint working in the

Gateshead Council                                                                                              Page 7 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                                                  October 2005


In order to both achieve our strategic aims and make a contribution to sustainable waste
management, the Council recognise that deliverability of a proven solution for treating residual
waste in a timely manner is of critical importance.

The BPEO (Best Practicable Environmental Option) assessment has shown that sending the
residual waste to an existing energy recovery facility would be the best option for treating it in
order to meet our targets. This is because the electricity produced by this facility offsets fossil
fuel use and thus reduces the generation of greenhouse gases. However, this option may not
be open to Gateshead Council because the limited available capacity. Thus the Council may
well have to consider other options, but will discount the construction of a local Energy from
Waste (EfW) facility and other scenarios involving the on-site burning of Refuse Derived Fuel
(RDF) unless no other deliverable solutions which enable future landfill targets, particularly
those for 2010 and 2013, to be met can be implemented.

More Information
The full draft waste strategy and supporting information can be viewed on the website below and
through libraries .

Contact details to be confirmed.


In producing our Draft Municipal Waste Strategy for Gateshead Council we have sought advice from
technical experts in waste management as well as using our own expertise and experience to propose
options, which we think, are right for Gateshead. However it is important that we have YOUR support
for the Draft Strategy, which is why we want to know what you think.

Please take a few minutes to complete the following questions, your opinion and comments are valued.

Thank you for your time.

For each of the statements below, please indicate the extent of your agreement or disagreement by
placing a tick in the appropriate box:
                                                                                                             Don’t know



         We should plan to achieve a challenging yet
         realistic recycling rate of at least 20% and a
         declining waste growth
         We should seek to treat all residual waste in
         order to minimise landfilling
         The choice of waste treatment process /
         facility should not be based on cost alone

Gateshead Council                                                                                                    Page 8 of 9
Public Consultation Document                                                                   October 2005

             We should not rule out any one specific
             waste management         technology      (e.g.
             Energy from Waste) and that may inhibit the
             Council providing a deliverable solution

It would be helpful if you will provide us some information, although this is not essential:

Your age:

Up to 24
25 – 44
45 – 64

Female / Male: _________

Your postcode:

Please tear off, fold and seal as indicated and return by 2 December 2005 to ensure your views are

This document has been printed on recycled paper

Gateshead Council                                                                               Page 9 of 9

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