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 basis of the standard limits specified in Annex VI of the Industrial Emissions Directive, and exceedances of those limits will not necessarily result in an adverse impact on the environment. In the case of CO (Carbon Monoxide), an extremely high level of emissions over a prolonged period of time would be needed in order to have a significant impact on the environment, whereas slightly elevated emissions over a short-duration are not likely to result in any measurable environmental impact.
It should also be noted that the variable nature of the residual municipal waste burned by plants can make it extremely difficult for operators to control their CO emissions to permitted limits all of the time, and occasional exceedances can therefore be expected to occur, even when operators apply all available measures to avoid them.
Environment Agency Regulatory Officer for the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility
12 September 2019
The Chair noted that there had been public concern in relation to the emissions from the ERF and the above statement would be published on the Partnership’s website.
RESOLVED: To note the contents of the report.