AGENDA ITEM NO. 14 REPORT TO: Executive Board REPORT NO: CEnO/25/10 DATE: 27 July 2010 LEAD MEMBER: Councillor David A Bithell (Environment and Transport) LEAD OFFICER: Chief Environment Officer CONTACT OFFICER: Sarah Barton (Tel: 729685) SUBJECT: Towards Zero Waste: Waste Strategy Document for Wales: Municipal Sector Plan Consultation WARD: All 1. PURPOSE OF THE REPORT To seek Members’ support to submit the responses as per Appendix 2 on the consultation for the Municipal Sector Plan that forms part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Towards Zero Waste Strategy Document. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2.1 Members will be aware that the Welsh Assembly Government produced a consultation document “Towards Zero Waste – One Wales: One Planet” in April 2009. The aim of this strategy is to improve recycling/composting and, reduce residual waste and to strive for sustainability in waste management. The consultation on the Municipal Sector plan forms part of this strategy and all Welsh Authorities have been asked to respond to it. 3. RECOMMENDATIONS 3.1 Members approve the responses to the consultation questions in Appendix 2. 2 REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS To enable Wrexham Council to respond to the Welsh Assembly Government’s consultation document. John Bradbury Chief Environment Officer 4. BACKGROUND INFORMATION 4.1 Over recent years there have been several documents concerning waste management and sustainability. Members will be aware that the Welsh Assembly Government produced a consultation document “Towards Zero Waste – One Wales: One Planet” in April 2009. The aim of this strategy is to improve recycling/composting, reduce residual waste and to strive for sustainable waste management. Other relevant documents in recent years are Wise about Waste: The National Strategy for Wales (2002) and the European Landfill Directive, which came into effect in July 2001. 4.2 On 24 May 2010, the Welsh Assembly Government provided Local Authorities with an advance copy of the consultation document for the Draft Municipal Sector Plan which was formally launched for consultation on 21 June 2010. This consultation is another move towards obtaining zero waste and the Welsh Assembly Government has asked each Authority to respond to this consultation. Appendix 1 summarises the consultation document and Appendix 2 details the consultation questions and suggested responses from Wrexham Council. 4.3 The Towards Zero Waste Strategy and accompanying Municipal Sector Plan will clarify the direction of travel for waste management and as part of this process a business plan on the strategy and the existing PFI contract will be considered. 5. CONSULTATION 5.1 Consultation has taken place with the Lead Member for Environment and Transport, the Leader of the Council and WRG our waste contractors. 6. SCRUTINY COMMITTEE COMMENTS 6.1 A report was submitted to the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on 23 June 2010 who made the following recommendation . “That the responses to the consultation questions, as detailed in Appendix 2 of report CEnO/24/10S be submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government to form Wrexham’s response to the Waste Strategy Consultation Document.” 3 7. IMPLICATIONS 7.1 Policy Framework - To reduce landfill, increase recycling, to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint and to support the Welsh Assembly Government’s strategy “Towards Zero Waste – One Wales: One Planet” . 7.2 Budget - Resource implications are currently unknown as this document is for consultation only. If changes to service provision are required as a result of the Municipal Waste Sector Plan, then there are potential resource implications. 7.3 Legal - Legal implications are currently unknown as this document is for consultation only. 7.4 Staffing - Staffing implications are currently unknown as this document is for consultation only. 7.5 Equalities/Diversity - This document is for consultation only. If changes to service provision are required following the consultation, then an equalities impact assessment will be carried out. BACKGROUND PAPERS Towards Zero Waste: The Overarching Waste Strategy Document for Wales. Draft Municipal Sector Plan – Part 1 for Consultation Towards Zero Waste – One Wales: One Planet LOCATION Members Library WEBSITE INFO. http://wales.gov.uk/docs/desh /consultation/090429wasteco nsultationen.pdf 4 Appendix 1 WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION MUNICIPAL SECTOR PLAN PART 1 Summary Introduction The purpose of this consultation is to seek the views of interested parties on Part 1 of the Municipal Sector Plan which covers municipal waste collected by local authorities - from households, and from some businesses and public bodies. The Municipal Sector Plan will be open for consultation until 13 September 2010. This plan supports ‘Towards Zero Waste’, the overarching waste strategy document for Wales, by detailing outcomes, policies and delivery actions for this sector. It forms part of the suite of documents that overall comprise the waste management plan/ strategy for Wales in accordance with the plan making requirements enshrined in UK and EU legislation. The proposals contained in this document seek to deliver the sustainable development outcomes identified in One Wales, in the Sustainable Development Scheme ‘One Wales, One Planet’ and in Towards Zero Waste. They contribute to the delivery of the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitments (including targets) set under relevant EU Directives in a way that meets and delivers key overarching policies and strategies on sustainable development and climate change, as well as those set by other Welsh Assembly Government functions. This consultation document should be read in conjunction with the Sustainability Appraisal which has been developed alongside this draft Municipal Sector Plan and considers the options in more detail. Other documents relevant to this consultation, which should be considered, include the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and the evidence base. Scope of the Municipal Sector Plan The Municipal Sector Plan covers only the waste collected specifically by “municipalities”, that is all of the Welsh local authorities, in accordance with their statutory duties as Waste Collection and Disposal Authorities as laid down in Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended). The sector plan does not cover other municipal waste that is not collected by local authorities, and which is collected instead by private or third sector waste management companies. These wastes will be covered in other sector plans. The sector plans will be web based ‘living documents’ and there will be linkages between them, where the actions of one sector will affect and/or support those of another. Outcomes and Milestones set in Towards Zero Waste To build a sustainable future, the following milestones have been set:- 5 2025 - Towards Zero Waste By 2025, there will be a significant reduction in waste, and we will manage any waste that is produced in a way that makes the most of our valuable resources. This means maximising recycling and minimising the amount of residual waste produced, and achieving as close to zero landfill as possible. This is an intermediate step on the way to our 2050 target of achieving zero waste and ‘living within our environmental limits’1. This is needed because reducing the impact of waste in Wales to ‘one Wales: one planet’ levels will require big changes in the way that products and services are designed, and the actions that consumers and businesses take. 2050 – Achieving zero waste By 2050, we will have reduced the impact of waste in Wales to within our environmental limits. Residual waste will have been eliminated and any waste that is produced will all be recycled. This means that the ecological footprint of waste in Wales will be at one Wales: one planet levels. Stakeholders All stakeholders will need to take responsibility and play a key role in taking forward the Municipal Sector plan to achieve the outcomes and key milestones. The stakeholders include householders, local authorities, third sector organisations and businesses, other organisations and the Government. Key Areas Addressed with the Sector Plan The approach being followed for Part 1 of the Municipal Sector Plan is to take forward the following four key areas: Waste prevention – to reinforce the important role of local authorities engaging with householders and communities to reduce waste put out for collection, thus helping to meet environmental outcomes, increasing opportunities for enhancing social wellbeing through waste reuse and reducing the costs of waste collection and management. Preparing for reuse – to ensure that a far greater proportion of wastes collected by local authorities is “prepared for reuse”, in order to meet environmental outcomes, increase opportunities for enhancing social wellbeing through involvement in reuse activities and reduce the costs of waste management. Recycling collection service delivery improvements – to deliver sustainable development outcomes in a cost effective way and work towards the new municipal waste recycling targets set in Towards Zero Waste. Sustainable treatment and disposal – to deliver sustainable treatment and disposal of municipal waste in a cost effective way and work towards the targets set in Towards Zero Waste. There is a separate Action Plan for each of these areas within the document. Some other important issues will also be addressed in Part 1, including achieving better value for money through efficiency savings, and ensuring more transparency and accuracy on the reporting of how and where materials are recycled. 6 Part 1 also details existing policies, targets and actions in place for other aspects of the collection and management of municipal waste that have already been consulted on and/or are already in place (for example the food waste treatment and residual waste treatment programmes). Part 2 will cover any other issues, including those arising out of the consultation on Part 1, the implementation of the revised Waste Framework Directive and, where research has been undertaken as part of the action plan in Part 1, this will be taken forward in Part 2. The sector plans will be web based living documents which will be regularly updated. Summary of the actions within the four key areas 1) Waste prevention To meet the proposed waste prevention target, to reduce waste arisings of household waste by 1.2 per cent (of the 2007 baseline) a year to 2050, the following actions are proposed: Service provision changes, for example frequency of residual waste collection. Waste awareness, communications and education campaigns. Encourage product reuse. Packaging essential requirements. Support for businesses and public sector. Legislation to introduce a levy on single use carrier bags. Actions to prevent packaging waste. Moving from goods to services. Extended producer responsibility. Action by retailers through the Courtauld 2 Commitment. 2) Preparing for reuse To help deliver the preparing for reuse target the following actions are proposed: Local authorities to offer a bulky reuse and recycling collection service. Waste awareness, communications and educational campaigns. Support the infrastructure development for preparing for reuse. Consider ‘preparation for reuse’ credits. Further development of the role of the community sector. Further research for baseline data. 3) Collection of source separated waste for recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion The actions proposed to meet the targets set in Towards Zero Waste are as follows: Increasing the recycling rates to meet targets. Consistency in recyclable materials collected. Collecting and delivering quality materials to end markets. Greater transparency in the quantity and destination of materials recycled. Improve service standards at household waste recycling centres and bring sites. 7 Provision of a recycling service for business. Increasing the recycling service value for money and performance. Supporting the development of recyclate, compost and anaerobic digestion digestate markets. Working with retailers to increase the recyclability of products and packaging. Extended producer responsibility. Consideration of mandatory recycling credits. 4) Sustainable treatment and disposal To provide sustainable treatment and disposal options for municipal waste, the following actions are proposed: Energy from waste limitation targets Landfill allowance scheme targets to 2020 Residual household waste – indicative levels Food waste treatment and generation of high quality compost / anaerobic digestate Residual waste treatment Landfill bans / restrictions of certain wastes The Welsh Assembly Government will be working closely with all stakeholders to take forward the policies and proposals within the sector plan. The consultation will take account of the responses, and the Municipal Sector plan – Part 1 will then be released as a final document. Appendix 2 8 WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION MUNICIPAL SECTOR PLAN PART 1 Consultation questions and suggested WCBC responses Q1. Do you agree with the findings and conclusions of the Sustainability Appraisal? If no, please explain your reasons. R1: This document is over 250 pages and further review is currently being carried out Q2. Do you agree that there should be specific household waste and commercial waste reduction targets as opposed to a single reduction target for municipal waste collected by local authorities? R2: Yes Local Authorities have a statutory obligation to collect household waste which makes up an estimated 35% of the ecological footprint and therefore priority with regard to funding and communications are given to household waste. Commercial and Industrial Waste makes up an estimated 50% of the ecological footprint. Local Authorities only have to collect commercial waste if requested to do so and therefore is not a priority waste stream and hence may bring down the overall recycling performance if given one overall target. Q3. Do you agree that all Local Authorities in Wales should adopt the service profile outlined above to help reduce the amount of household waste put out for collection? Should the Welsh Assembly Government prescribe these levels of service provision? R3: Service Profiles: Reducing residual waste capacity, Reducing residual waste collection frequency, No residual ‘side waste’, separate food waste collection, promotion of home composting. In principle yes to the above service profiles, however, there will be cost implications to this and any changes to service provision cannot happen overnight as infrastructure changes will be required. It could be a costly exercise in regard to communications and where would it be funded from? Service Profile: Apply charging for green waste collection and collecting it fortnightly. No to this charging as it will discourage participation and antagonise the public as it will be seen as a service reduction and also lead to fly tipping and more green waste in the residual collection. Infrastructures have been procured long term on the basis of collecting a certain volume of green waste. 9 Q4. Do you agree that the actions proposed to effect behavioural change on waste prevention through awareness raising are necessary, and is there anything else that should be done in respect of awareness raising on waste prevention, and who should do it? R4: Yes. Fully support waste prevention and awareness raising is a key factor in reducing waste arisings. WAG should co-ordinate and fund a common message for the whole of Wales as they can reach a larger audience and it gives weight to the message about waste prevention. Local Authorities are restricted in what they can achieve alone as there is limited funding which can affect the scale and intensity of any communications. Q5. Should we prioritise funding for local waste prevention projects, and how could they be organised? R5: Yes. The local community plays an important role in waste prevention but like all projects they require funding and Local Authorities current funding has been prioritised for kerbside collection. Waste Awareness Wales could run an All Wales fund that local communities could bid into with the help of their Local Authority. This funding could be ring fenced to ensure that it is used for waste prevention only. Q6. Are there any further actions which you consider that the Welsh Assembly Government should take to ensure more prevention of household waste in Wales? If yes, what further action do you consider should be taken, and by whom? R6: Yes – National campaigns and national messages and ‘logo’ that can identify to all householders for e.g. why householders have to reduce their residual waste, why it is important to recycle, the consequences of landfilling, etc. Householders would then have more understanding of the local campaigns and reasons behind them. Q7. Do you agree that all Local Authorities should be required to offer a bulky waste recycling/preparation for reuse service with a minimum number of specified types of bulky items that they should collect and prepare for reuse/recycle? If yes, what items do you think they ought to collect? R7: No – this is too prescriptive and would be very costly. WCBC currently allow all residents to take any bulky item to the HWRC. WCBC also run a bulky collection service which they charge for, but when the service is requested the customer is encouraged in the first instance to look at reuse organisations. Q8. Should the Welsh Assembly Government provide for guidance on how Local Authorities could evaluate services in terms of social, economic and environmental benefits, including maximising social return on investment? R8: No all Local Authorities have different social demographics and different service requirements. Different Welsh Assembly Departments are already funding this type of activity in the local community, e.g. Communities First Funding and would therefore be better spending this funding on initiatives in local communities for waste prevention. 10 Q9. Do you agree that all Local Authorities should have a least one civic amenity site / household waste recycling centre which can receive and store safely bulky items for preparation for reuse? R9: Yes. But there needs to be a secure sustainable outlet for all these items. Q10. Do you agree that it would be desirable to set up an accredited reuse and repair network? If yes, which materials or items should be the main priority for the reuse network? How could it be funded? R10: Yes, but there are already many organisations and charities currently doing this so it would need to be integrated into these outlets. Funding would be required for national communications, but the outlets should run commercial business in order to work successfully. Market research should be carried out to find out what types of materials or items should be prioritised. Q11. Do you agree that reuse shops should be franchised and have common branding? If yes, how could this best be achieved, including how could it be funded? R11: As per Q10 – many of these shops already exist and are run by charities. WAG could incentivise these outlets to run more commercially, but they must still be ‘local’ so should not be too tightly branded. Q12. Should the Welsh Assembly Government introduce a scheme for ‘preparing for reuse credits’ similar to recycling credits under Section 52 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990? If yes, should such a scheme be made compulsory? If no to either question, what are your reasons for saying this? R12: Experience has shown WCBC that the recycling credits scheme is not always successful, particularly in the reuse market. To make it compulsory raises a number of questions Who would administer the scheme Who would monitor and evaluate performance Who pays the credits and at what level as it could have a huge funding implication if compulsary Q13. Subject to clarification on what can count towards recycling as defined in the revised Waste Framework Directive, it is proposed to include in the recycling figures and targets for Wales the recycling of beach cleansing wastes, rubble (deposited at HWRC and CA sites), abandoned vehicles, bottom ash from EfW plants and all other categories of waste collected by Local Authority waste collection and disposal authorities. Do you agree with this or should only the municipal wastes collected by local authorities that is included under the definition of municipal waste in the EU Landfill Directive be covered by the Performance Indicators and recycling targets (this would exclude, for example, abandoned vehicles and rubble)? R13: Yes – it should be all municipal waste arisings. 11 Q14. Do you agree that the Welsh Assembly Government should develop proposals for recycling targets for source separated food waste? R14: Not statutory and any targets should be reviewed according to waste compositional analysis (funded by WAG) and the successfulness of campaigns such as Love Food Hate Waste otherwise Local authorities will continually be ‘chasing’ food waste. Q15. Do you agree that there should be specific recycling targets for other materials? If yes, which ones? R15: No – all Local Authorities have different social demographics and hence differing waste compositions. One overall target is sufficient. Targets should be outcome based not input based. One size does not fit all. Q16. Should the Welsh Assembly Government require that Local Authorities all collect, as a minimum, a defined list of recyclable materials? If yes, what do you consider should be included in the list? R16: No – see Q15 this is very prescriptive for kerbside collection and social demographics, HWRC’s could have a defined list as long as there is a sustainable end market. Q17. Do you agree that there should be a star rating system to demonstrate achievement of higher standards at Household Waste Recycling Centres? R17: No – there is no requirement as recycling percentage is already monitored through wastedataflow and as discussed in previous questions all recyclates should be taken on HWRC’s as long as there is a sustainable end market. Q18. Do you agree that householders without access to kerbside recycling services should have easy access to a bring site to recycle a range of materials? If yes, what level of provision should be stipulated? R18: Yes – the range of material will be dependant on the local requirements and the capacity on the site – bring sites are not always easy to locate due to residents objections and land availability. Q19. Do you agree that each Local Authority be required to provide glass colour separation bring sites to enable closed loop recycling? R19: No – the principle is fine, but in reality bring sites are unmanned and WCBC has found that contamination is high in separate colour glass collection. The public do not always do as asked. Also there are other factors such as land availability and infrastructure capacities that would need to be funded. 12 Q20. Do you consider that Local Authorities should all provide a comprehensive recyclate and food waste collection service for businesses in their area? Or should they provide this service only for areas not well served by the private sector? R20: No. Not all Local Authorities have the infrastructure to do this – commercial waste makes up a much higher % of waste arisings than household waste. Commercial businesses do not have to contract with the Local Authorities. How could a business plan be put together to fund this as it is an unknown entity and Councils cannot build infrastructure based on an assumed level of commercial waste collections. Q21. Do you agree with the proposed approaches to the efficiency savings? What further actions do you consider could be taken to achieve even greater value for money? R21: Efficiency Savings: Support Collaboration Projects – Food waste collection and food waste and residual treatment ‘hubs’ Merging of waste functions of two or more local authorities Joint procurement of goods and services Waste and finance benchmarking In principle the above are approaches that can (and are) being scoped. However the process is not simple or quick. Service efficiency improvements:Systems based review Empowering workforce and reducing management overheads The above 3 service activities should be left to the local authorities themselves to carry out – it is not for WAG to manage at this operational level – however good practices should be shared by all Authorities. Q22. Do you consider that the Welsh Assembly Government should apply more prescriptive conditions to the provision of the Sustainable Waste Management Grant (SWMG) to ensure that the outcomes in Towards Zero Waste and the objectives proposed in this plan are delivered by local authorities? Should the Welsh Assembly Government withhold part of the SWMG from Local Authorities that refuse to provide the type of services deemed by the Welsh Assembly Government to be the most sustainable? Should payment of grant only be made on delivery of results? R22: No - it is prescriptive enough and their will be enough statutory targets in the Towards Zero Waste Strategy. If SWMG is withheld due to ‘sustainability’ then it will only make the process more difficult how will Local Authorities be able to move forward at a local level with differing social demographics? Payment of grant should not be on delivery of results, there is no legislation in place to make the householder do anything. All Local Authorities can do is provide the service, educate, communicate and cajole residents – this would be penalising Local Authorities for something beyond their control. Local Authorities are going to be penalised enough through the EU Landfill Directive and non attainment of targets as it is. This will just out 13 funding pressures on the waste service and hence jeopardise the funding of other areas such as Adult Social Care and Children and Young People. Q23. Should the Welsh Assembly Government require the payment of recycling credits by Local Authorities to third parties, and what do you see as the advantages or disadvantages of such an approach? R23: No although there is the potential to increases the recycling rates this waste is not always household waste so why should Local Authorities be responsible and where would they get the funding to pay these third parties from? Who would set the credit payment rate? Someone has to administer the scheme and how much will be paid out in credits? – Could have a huge funding implication on Local Authorities – what service would they have to cut to provide these credits? Q24. Do you agree that identifying residual household waste levels for future years is useful and will help Local Authorities better plan for residual waste treatment facility contracts? Do you agree that they should be non-binding on Local Authorities, and indicative only? R24: Yes – it helps with infrastructure and service delivery planning but it should be indicative only as again the Local Authority has no power over end markets and what materials can be recycled.