Purpose of the report: Scrutiny of Performance Management
To update the Board on Recycling Performance at the Community Recycling Centres.
Steve Strickland, Waste Contract Team Manager
Key points raised during the discussion:
Peter Hickman left the meeting at 12:30pm
1. The Chairman reminded Members that the purpose of the report was to be briefed on what kind of items were accepted at Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) and what happened to them once recycled.
2. The Waste Contract Team Manager introduced the report, outlining that the material collected at CRCs was not typical kerbside material. Currently, more waste was being pulled out of skips and investigated to check if there was any value in the materials being found. A trial in Leatherhead was proving successful results in collecting items from skips. A trial for expansion to other CRCs was being considered.
3. There was a discussion around black bin bags and the board were informed that these were collected in skips and then spilt open to check if they contained any valuable items. However due to staff restrictions this process cannot operate effectively on a bigger scale. Members suggested in order to improve the process the transition from black bags to transparent bags would be more advantageous.
4. A Member of the Board referred to the site at Charlton Lane and raised concerns with traffic queues when entering the site and the reduction in skips available. The Waste Contract Team Manager advised that the concerns raised have already been identified and officers were working towards finding a solution. It was further explained that there was no intention to downgrade the site.
5. Officers were asked about the financial nature surrounding compost and whether opening a Surrey facility for green waste would be more productive and beneficial in the long term. Officers explained that the primary focus at the moment was residual waste, however opening our own facility would be taken on board and considered. Currently composted waste is taken to a number of compost plants around Surrey where as part of the ‘gate fee’ and contract the compost is kept by the plant.
6. In relation to rubble and soil, Board Members stated that they had received complaints from residents about being turned away from CRCs when dropping off garden waste. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning stated that he was aware of this concern and assured the Board that this practice was not county wide and the matter will be looked into. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning also informed the Board that Surrey Wide Fly Tipping would be launching on 4 July.
7. Board Members sought clarification over the low figures for textiles received at CRCs. Officers explained that although the rate per tonne was resourceful (£250 per tonne); charities offered a competing service with kerbside collection which affected CRC collection rates. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning stated that a business model for re-use shops in Surrey was in the pipeline and could potentially bring about savings.