Agenda and minutes

South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee
Tuesday, 17th September, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: F10, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chair welcomed all those present.


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence from any members of the Committee.


Apologies were received from Councillor Ben Andrews and Councillor Hillary Gander.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2019 as an accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2019 were signed and agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.


Any Urgent Business

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.


The Chair stated that following the fire near the Energy Recovery Facility in Beddington, it was important that the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee received the independent report from the Fire Service ahead of making any statements.


It was suggested that the Committee receive a report at a future meeting and members of the public would be invited to ask questions. Questions would be required to be submitted in writing by 12 noon the day before the meeting and supplementary questions would be permitted.


The Chair confirmed there would be a full discussion on the fire once the independent reports were available and the committee report would be a public report where possible. The Committee were further informed that the Environment Agency were involved at the site as they were responsible for issuing the permit for the site and would be invited to the committee meeting along with Viridor. It was, however, noted that it was not possible to ensure their attendance as the Committee could only request their attendance.


Phase A & B Contract Management Report pdf icon PDF 113 KB

This report provides Joint Waste Committee with an update on the performance of the Phase A and Phase B Contracts procured and managed by the South London Waste Partnership.

Additional documents:


The Contract Manager introduced the report which provided a summary of the contracts awarded by the South London Waste Partnership. A briefing note from Viridor in relation to the fire near the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) was also appended to the report.


It was noted that the 9% of visitors to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centres (HRRC) were reporting wait times of more than ten minutes which had been largely due to seasonal influences, such as Bank Holidays, and maintenance being undertaken at sites. Officers confirmed that managing performance at HRRCs remained challenging and continued to be monitored on a monthly basis. It was suggested that reviews of site layouts and improved ID checks at the gates may improve waiting times.


Members noted that there had been a 10% reduction in residual waste which provided a combined saving of £500k for the Partnership, which was welcomed.


Members queried whether the Partnership had received a large volume of contact from residents in relation to the fire near the ERF site in Beddington, and were informed that the Partnership had not received a large number of questions. The Chair stated that he had received a number of questions through social media to which he had responded that it was important to wait for the official report, but that it would be important for Viridor to be held to account and ensure lessons were learnt.


The Chair welcomed Councillor Mattey, Beddington North ward councillor, to speak to the Committee. Councillor Mattey stated that he had been contacted by a number of residents who were concerned about the impact of the fire which had been easily seen by those in the area. Councillor Mattey stated that residents had raised concerns regarding acrid smelling fumes and dry throats.


Members were informed that a former fire officer had spoken at a Council meeting at Sutton Council who had stated that mattresses release a poison (sodium cyanide) when burnt, which had caused concern to residents. Councillor Mattey stated that a press release had been issued by Viridor a few hours after the fire had started and which described it as being a small fire. This press release had been shared by Sutton Council, however residents reported large plumes of smoke and the press release was not considered sufficient to alleviate concerns. It was stated that it was important to not trivialise issues, and it was further suggested that the Partnership should develop a protocol to respond appropriately to such incidents, such as an emergency number for residents to call.


Councillor Mattey suggested that questions should be asked on what had caused the fire and how it could be avoided in future. It was important to ensure lessons were learnt and that there are no further fires at the site.


The Chair agreed that an incident like the fire should be an opportunity to learn, and that it was important that information shared with residents was correct and timely. As such, it was suggested that consideration  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/19


Budget Update - Month 4 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

This report provides an update on the Partnership’s budget position for month 4 (July) of the 2019/20 financial year and the projected outturn for the 2019/20 financial year.


The Finance Lead for the South London Waste Partnership presented the updated financial position, and informed the Committee that there were two variances to note which was the forecasted overspend of £35k for advisors which included assessment of the options available for the renegotiation or re-procurement of the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (HRRC) contract. The second variance was that there was a forecasted underspend of £35k as the post of Waste Strategy Officer was vacant and would likely not be filled until December 2019.


RESOLVED: To note contents of the report.


Draft Budget for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

This report provides the proposed budget for the Partnership for 2020/21 for its core activities.


The Finance Lead for the South London Waste Partnership informed Members that it was required that a draft budget be formed and agreed by the Committee. Members were informed that the draft budget was then considered by each council and finally agreed by the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee.


The proposed 2020/21 budget, outlined at paragraph 2.1 of the report, took into account increments, pay, and prices inflation of 2%. It was further noted that the budget to undertake a triennial resident’s survey had been removed and would be reintroduced in 2022/23 for approval. Members also noted that £50k had been budgeted to re-procure or re-negotiate the current Household Reuse and Recycle Centre (HRRC) contract which expires on 30 September 2022.




1.    Agree the proposed draft budget for the core activities of the Partnership as set out in 2.1 of the report and request individual boroughs to consider and agree the resources required in consultation with borough Finance Directors; and


2.    Note that the final budget will be brought back to the Joint Committee in December 2019 for sign off.


Risk Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

This report summarises key risk areas which are facing the partnership boroughs in relation to the waste disposal functions of the Joint Waste Committee.






The Strategic Partnership Manager introduced the report stating it summarised the key risks in relation to the waste contracts managed by the Committee. The risks related to changes in the recycling materials market were highlighted and included the decreased value in material to be recycled and the need to ensure low levels of contamination. The Partnership continued to monitor this risk and noted the need to factor this risk into future contracts.


Members noted that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs had undertaken a consultation on reforming the packaging producer responsibility regulations in the UK, introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and measures to accelerate consistency in recycling for both households and businesses in England. Additionally, the Treasury had undertaken a consultation on a plastic packaging tax. Members were informed the Partnership had responded to both consultations.


The impact of Brexit continued to be monitored, and potential impacts included those relating to the workforce, recycling markets and supply of consumables, have been considered. It was anticipated that there would not be an impact on the safe disposal of residual waste as the waste disposal arrangements were based in the locality of the Partnership; however it was noted that recycling markets and exports could be impacted.


In terms of the Energy Recovery Facility, the Partnership continued to work with Viridor to ensure it was fit for purpose and Members were informed that contingency plans were in place, if necessary.


In response to Member questions the Strategic Partnership Manager confirmed that discussions had been held with contractors regarding the percentage of the workforce which were EU nationals and support was being provided to these employees. Specific figures of those affected would be provided.


RESOLVED: To note the contents of the report.


Communications and Engagement - Phase A and Phase B contracts pdf icon PDF 152 KB

This report provides an update to Members of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee on communications and stakeholder engagement activities relating to the Partnership’s Phase A (transport & residual waste management, HRRC services and marketing of recyclates) and Phase B (residual waste treatment) contracts.


This report focuses on activity that has taken place between July and September 2019.


The Communications Advisor informed Members that the report focused on communication activities which had taken place between July and September 2019. The following week was Recycling Week, and in advance of this five videos had been created which showed what happens recycling and rubbish after its been collected. The intention was to build trust with residents and show that the Partnership was taking responsibility. Four of the videos covered specific forms of waste and were a minute long each, and the fifth video was a combination of the four other films. The longer video was shown to the Committee.


The Chair and Members thanked the Communications Advisor for the video and noted that the Committee had felt it was important to ensure there was a good communications programme which outlined what happened to resident’s recycling and waste. Members further welcomed the additional information which went alongside the videos to further increase people’s understanding of recycling.


As part of Recycle Week, the Communications Advisor, stated that a social media advertising campaign would be undertaken which would include the new videos. Additionally, following a successful bid for £10k to the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) an outdoor advertising campaign would be run, which would include advertising on the tram network, to increase recycling awareness. Furthermore, school visits would be undertaken to engage with young people across the boroughs.


Members were informed that the Partnership had been successful in a bid for £26,000 of funding from Resource London and a food waste engagement exercise would be run in autumn. This campaign would focus on increasing the amount of food waste being disposed of correctly, but would also focus on reducing the amount of food being wasted with pumpkins being a seasonal focus of the campaign.


Members noted that the increased levels of recycling were due to resident’s participation and thanked them for engaging and increasing the levels of recycling. It was further noted that it was important to encourage residents to not buy things they did not need and to increase the use of reusable plastic containers. In response, the Chair requested that the workshop ahead of the next Committee meeting should focus on encouraging increased use reusables and refilling, such as refillable washing up bottles, etc.


Members were informed that the footpath along the western boundary of the Beddington Farmlands site had been reopened. New bird hides are accessible from the footpath and these had been particularly welcomed.


It was noted that Viridor had published reports on emissions from the ERF on the website on an on-going basis, which was considered to be one of the most transparent approaches to emissions in the country. These reports had shown that there have been a number of short-lived exceedances in Carbon Monoxide in recent months.  The SLWP had approached the Environment Agency (EA) (who are responsible for regulationg activities at the site) for reassurance.  The EA had provided the following response::


The permit ELVs (Emission Limit Values) are set primarily on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10/19


Date of the next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is on 17 December 2019.


RESOLVED: To note that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday 17 December 2019 at 6.30pm at Croydon Council.