Agenda and draft minutes

Reconvened from 17 December 2019, South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee
Tuesday, 4th February, 2020 6.30 pm, NEW

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

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chair welcomed all present including members of Extinction Rebellion Sutton and Croydon.


It was noted by the Chair that Extinction Rebellion had done a great deal of work to shine a light on the important issue of waste reduction and reuse and welcomed their activity and ideas. The four boroughs, it was stated, had shared aims of increasing reuse and recycling and managing non-recyclable waste as responsibly as possible. As such, the Chair welcomed members of Extinction Rebellion to meet with officers of the South London Waste Partnership to discuss their ideas and learn more about the technical details of the Partnership’s work.


Members noted that whilst recycling rates nationally were stagnating, the South London Waste Partnership area was bucking the trend, was well above the London average and the ambition was to continue this upward trend.


Whilst it was recognised that a number of residents had concerns in relation to the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Beddington, it was noted that the process uses waste to generate electricity for the National Grid, low-carbon heating and hot water supplies for nearby homes and significantly reducescarbon emissions (or equivalent) when compared with landfill. As a Partnership, the Chair stated it would explore new waste treatment technology as it arose as it was important to the boroughs to continue to evolve.


Members of the public were informed that the Partnership was not a legal entity, rather it was a voluntary partnership of the four boroughs which enabled a synergy of messages and waste collection. Furthermore, the Partnership allowed for ideas to be shared, resources to be maximised and benefits achieved.


All four boroughs of the Partnership boroughs had declared a Climate Emergency and the Chair reiterated that Extinction Rebellion’s attendance was welcomed and further welcomed the sharing of ideas and knowledge to achieve the shared goal of a reduction in waste and increase in recycling.


Apologies for Absence

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


Apologies were received from Councillor Liz Green – Leader of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2019 as an accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2019 were signed and agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.


Urgent Business (If Any)

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.


There were no items of urgent business.


Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 105 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.


The Contract Manager for the South London Waste Partnership presented the update report to the Committee. Section 2.5 of the report was highlighted as showing that 83% of Housing Reuse and Recycling Centre (HRRC) users experiencing a wait time of less than five minutes.


Whilst recycling markets continued to be challenging there had been a 1% increase in recycling rates at the HRRC sites which was welcomed. The Partnership additionally continued to work with Veolia to trial new ways of working to further increase recycling rates.


Bags splitting was noted as an area that the contractor continued to work on by asking residents to split their bags and the recyclable waste into the appropriate bins across the site. This work, it was hoped, would reiterate that the HRRC sites were recycling points and not just disposal sites.


The Contract Manager noted that the commercial waste clamp down corresponded with a 7% reduction in wood waste, 27% drop in rubble tonnage and 38% reduction in plasterboard tonnage. This reduction in commercial waste had helped the Partnership save over £40,000 year-to-date.


Members noted that the composting contract was operating well and that there were no issues to report.


In terms of the Viridor contract, the residual waste treatment contract, 135,000 tonnes of residual waste had been delivered to the Beddington site between 1 April 2019 and 30 November 2019 which was a drop of 5% for the same period the previous year.


In response to Member questions, the Contract Manager confirmed that the Partnership had been in discussion with the contractor to expand the reuse opportunities. The reuse shop at Kimpton was noted as taking items from all HRRC sites across the four boroughs, repairing and reselling. The Chair stated that this was excellent work and further noted the Library of Things in Upper Norwood as an example of a reuse shop. Members requested that there was a communications piece on the reuse opportunities so members of the public were aware of the opportunities.


Members noted that the commercial waste pilot had been successful in Sutton and were informed that bespoke schemes had been rolled out in all four boroughs which would respond to customer needs. Additionally, in response to Member questions officers confirmed that there had been no significant increase in flytipping in response to the clamp down of commercial waste at the HRRC sites.


Members noted at paragraph 4.5 of the report that there had been several carbon monoxide exceedances at the ERF although no enforcement or suspension notices had been issued as the site was operating in accordance with its Environmental Permit. Officers confirmed that in recent months there had been a number of temporary exceedances of a half-hourly average for carbon monoxide (CO) at the Beddington ERF. In each circumstance, the level of carbon monoxide increased above the permitted limit temporarily before quickly (usually within a matter of seconds) returning to permitted operating conditions. The Environment Agency was notified on each occasion. It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/20


Budget Update 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

This paper provides an update on the Partnership’s budget position for month 9 (December) of the financial year and the projected outturn for the 2019/20 financial year.

Additional documents:


The Finance Lead for the South London Waste Partnership presented the updated finance position of the partnership and informed the Committee that there was a projected underspend for 2019/20 of £25,000 for Strategic Management activities.


RESOLVED: To note the contents of the report.


Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This paper provides the final budget for the Partnership for 2020/21 for its core activities.


The Strategic Partnership Manager presented the final budget for the Partnership for its core activities in 2020/21.


RESOLVED: To agree the final budget for the core activities of the Partnership as set out at paragraph 2.3 of the report.


Communications Update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

This paper 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.


The Chair thanked the Communications Advisor for his work in developing the ‘Destination: Recycling’ videos which showed the journey of waste once collected from the kerbside as it had helped residentsunderstanding of the importance of recycling.


The Communications Advisor outlined communications activity which had taken place since September 2019. Three campaigns had been undertaken, including ‘Destination: Recycling’, Recycle Week 2019 and Give Food Waste a Fright. The ‘Destination: Recycling’ social media campaign had been very successful with over 250,000 views of the 15 second clips, over 10,000 click-throughs to the Partnership website and over 1,800 views of 30 second+ of the videos. The videos had been well received and remained relevant so Members were requested to continue using them to support understanding of recycling.


During Recycling Week an outdoor advertising campaign was run which was funded through a £10,000 bid to Resource London. The campaign ran in all four boroughs, on the tram network and in Kingston and Croydon town centres. Additionally, Veolia ran a series of school visits in the lead up to and during Recycling Week.


Finally, in terms of the Give Food a Fright Campaign which was a series of food waste engagement events which took place in October 2019 and were funded through a £26,000 bid to Resource London. The campaign used pumpkins as the hook as they were a good example of food waste as many people did not use the vegetable they cut up to use as a lantern. Four highly successful pop-up events were held which enabled over 1,800 face-to-face engagements to take place and almost 200 written pledges by residents to reduce their food waste.


Members were informed that user satisfaction levels at HRRCs continued to be positive. It had been noted that some residents were taking waste which could be recycled at the kerbside to these centres and so a leaflet would be developed to be handed out at the HRRC sites to inform residents of what they could recycle at home and encourage them to sort through their recycling.


The Communications Advisor informed Members that Viridor continued to provide regular community updates on progress to restore the Beddington Farmlands, including the installation of swift nesting boxes and initial work to enable wetland grasslands to be formed in spring 2020.


Emissions data from the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) continued to be uploaded to the Beddington ERF Virtual Visitor Centre; however it was noted by the Communications Advisor that there had been a delay in uploading the data from the second half of December 2019 which Viridor had advised was due to a technical difficulty. The Partnership had been assured that this had subsequently been rectified and the data had been posted to the website.


The Committee noted that a variation to the Beddington ERF permit had come into effect from 1 January and Members were informed that the reasoning was included in the Viridor January emission monitoring report. The change had been recommended by the Environment Agency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9/20


Social Research Findings pdf icon PDF 1 MB

This paper summarises the findings of a social research project carried out by an independent research company on behalf of the South London Waste Partnership in 2019.


The Communications Advisor provided the Committee with a presentation, a copy of which was included within the agenda papers. The presentation gave an overview of the results of a survey undertaken by the independent research company, DJS Research, which included over 1,000 telephone interviews across the four boroughs and 350 booster surveys around the Beddington site. The Committee were informed that the results of the survey were compared with the previous four surveys which had been undertaken and would help inform the development of the Communications Strategy which would be taken to the next meeting of the Committee.


Highlights from the survey were raised by the Communications Advisor and included; a significant increase in residentscommitment to recycle since 2010 however a lower level of commitment from those aged 16 to 34 which was concerning and would require addressing (although progress had been made with this age group since the last survey in 2016).


Driven by significant changes to collection services the survey found that residents felt they were recycling more and producing less waste. This had been reflected in the levels of tonnage of waste collected, however it was positive to see that residents felt that there had been a change in their behaviour.


It was noted that the survey raised a concern that fewer people, 38% from 43%, felt that their own individual effortsmade a difference. The Communications Advisor stated this would be an area of focus in future years.


Members noted that residents were increasingly becoming more realistic in terms of the amount of their waste which was being recycled and realistic ambitions for recycling rates in the next five years’ time. It was felt that this would help future information campaigns. It was further encouraging that 96% of respondents felt it was important that there was a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill.


The survey included a question of what should be done with non-recyclable waste and it was noted that a third of responders suggested it should be burnt/incinerated/treated to recover energy. It was stated that there was no prompting when the question was asked. A subsequent question was whether the resident was aware of the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Beddington; overall 32% of respondents were aware of the site with the figure rising to 43% in the six wards closest to the site. Once prompted, it was noted that 66% of residents surveyed agreed that incineration was a good option for non-recyclable waste.


Given the large changes to the waste collection and street cleaning services, the survey included questions on these services and found a net satisfaction rate of 64% for waste collection. The Communications Advisor stated that the satisfaction rate should increase as the services bed in and that the current level was not bad given the level of change. In terms of street cleanliness the satisfaction level was only 54% on residential roads and dropped to 46% for town centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10/20


Risk Report pdf icon PDF 92 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 which summarised the key risk areas which were facing the partnership boroughs in relation to the waste disposal functions of the Committee.


Market changes for recycling materials remained a significant risk as the value of some recycling materials had decreased considerably. This reduction in value had a potential impact on borough budgets as some materials had the potential to generate income. Members were informed that the Partnership continued to monitor the market and the risk would be managed through budget and contract management processes. Furthermore, it was noted that it was important to ensure the quality of recycled materials was maintained to reduce any potential impact on the cost of processing the materials. As such, reducing contamination of recycled material would form an important part of the Communications Strategy that was to be developed.


Members were informed that the Partnership continued to manage and monitor the impact of recycling value changes on its contracts also as it was noted that the contracts would only operate well if they were financially sustainable.


The Strategic Partnership Manager noted that Defra had run a consultation which closed in May 2019 which the Partnership had responded to. The final outcome of the consultation was to be released, however the Partnership continued to manage the risks and opportunities presented by the proposals. In response to Member questions, the Strategic Partnership Manager stated that they were of the understanding that Defra were looking at pursuing policies on plastic packaging however a timescale had not been announced.


In terms of the risk from Brexit, the Strategic Partnership Manager noted that the report had been written before 31 January 2020, and since the UK’s exit from the European Union the Partnership had not experienced or anticipated any impact during the transition. Members were informed that they would continue to work with contractors to mitigate any potential impacts once the transition period ends.


RESOLVED: To note the contents of the report.


Date of the next Meeting

The date of the next meeting is 21 April 2020.


RESOLVED: To note the next meeting will be held on Tuesday 21 April 2020 at 6.30pm at Croydon Council.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:


“To exclude the public from the meeting under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it is likely that exempt information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act, would be disclosed and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.”


This paragraph covers information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)


This item was not required.