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Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was received from Councillor G Fazackarley.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Streetscene Scrutiny Panel held on 01 November 2018.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Streetscene Scrutiny Panel held on 01 November 2018 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
The Chairman announced that a briefing session has been arranged to provide Members with an update on the progress being made with the Council’s campaign to reduce the use of Single Use Plastics (SUPS) in the Borough.
All Members of the Council have been invited to attend this briefing which will take place in the Council Chamber on Monday 01 April 2019 from 4.30pm to 5pm
Declarations of Interest and Disclosures of Advice or Directions
To receive any declarations of interest from members in accordance with Standing Orders and the Council’s Code of Conduct and disclosures of advice or directions received from Group Leaders or Political Groups, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.
To receive any deputations of which notice has been received.
There were no deputations made at this meeting.
To consider any item of business dealt with by the Executive since the last meeting of the Panel, that falls under the remit of the Streetscene Portfolio. This will include any decisions taken by individual members during the same time period.
The Panel considered the items of Executive business which fall under the remit of the Streetscene Portfolio, including Executive Member decisions, that have taken place since the last meeting of the Panel.
The Panel considered the decision(s) shown at item 6(1) of the agenda.
The Head of Streetscene reported that the call-in period for the decision to award a contract in respect of the Textile Recycling Banks has now expired and that he was able to confirm that the contract was awarded to the Salvation Army.
Members enquired whether a proportion of the money raised from the recycling of the materials collected in the Textile banks will continue to be paid to the charities, as was the arrangement under the previous contract. The Head of Streetscene clarified that the new contract does not make provision for any money made to be paid to the charities.
To consider a report by the Head of Streetscene on the proposals set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy recently published by the Government.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillors Mrs C Heneghan, J G Kelly, Mrs P M Bryant, S Dugan, Miss S M Bell and Mrs K K Trott addressed the Panel on this item.
The Panel received a report by the Head of Streetscene which outlined the Government Consultation on Resources and Waste Strategy. A copy of the presentation is attached to these minutes as Appendix A.
The presentation outlined the incremental recycling targets for municipal waste and outlined the four key areas of the Resources and Waste Strategy that the government plans to implement in order to reach the municipal recycling target of 65% by 2035.
The presentation highlighted the four consultations, giving a brief overview of the proposed Deposit Return Scheme, the Extended Producer Responsibility and the proposed Plastics Tax. A more in-depth overview was given in respect of the proposals to implement Consistency in Household and Recycling Collections as this area is likely to have most impact on services delivered in Fareham.
A summary of the current recycling arrangements across the Borough was also given, including a comparison with other Local Authorities in Hampshire and with the Somerset Waste Partnership – a service provider that is considered to be one of the top performers in waste management and a blue print for the ideal way forward.
On being asked to consider the key elements of the consultation aimed at securing Consistency in Recycling Collections, Members had the following comments to make:
Core Set of Materials
- Concerns about whether the collection is going to be kerbside or collected in one bin.
- Need to be sure that the materials being collected are genuinely recyclable and are not being shipped elsewhere as this has an environmental impact which counteracts the benefits of recycling.
- Textiles should be included in the core materials – we have clothes banks across the Borough, but people don’t realise that they can be used for recycling all textiles and not just usable clothing e.g. – rags, bedding, broken shoes etc.
- There must be a market for anything that is collected, we don’t want to be stockpiling materials that are classed as recyclable but are unable to dispose of them without there being a knock on environmental impact.
Separate Collection of Materials
- It’s clearly possible as several Authorities do it.
- There are significant health and safety issues in respect of manual handling a variety of different collection systems.
- Separate boxes at the kerbside will deter people from recycling and they won’t bother to do it.
- Much of the population – particularly flats and terraced houses, won’t have storage space for all the different receptacles that would be needed. Any scheme that is developed needs to accommodate all residents.
- There is potential to cause planning issues for new properties/developments with the need to ensure that provision is made for the various receptacles to be stored.
- Need to be careful with regard to possible strain that could be put on residents from having to move several boxes and bins - possibly through their houses in the case of terraced properties.
Food Waste Collection
- Concerns raised about the type of receptacle to be used – the possibility that it will encourage flies and maggots and that the smell would be bad.
- Weekly collection is not frequent enough. It would need to be every couple of days- although it was noted that at the moment food waste is only collected every 2 weeks.
- Concerns that wild animals might be able to access the food waste storage receptacles which would encourage vermin.
- Concerns whether there is a market for food waste to be disposed of and even if there is, would there be interest in taking the volume that is created.
- There was a suggestion that it would be useful to know how other Local Authorities deal with this type of waste collection and how they manage the challenges it brings before deciding whether to adopt it.
- There are health & safety issues in respect of combined food waste that would need to be considered very carefully before deciding to proceed with this type of waste collection.
- Government should make sure that if it proceeds with this proposal, any scheme that is implemented needs to be in line with best practice being operated by market leaders.
Free Garden Waste Collection
- When the Council implemented its garden waste collection service it opted for sacks rather than bins as it was considered that sacks would be less of a nuisance than a bin in terms of bad smells from rotting vegetation. Newer bins however do have holes in the bottom so that slurry doesn’t form.
- The sack system has its own problems – mainly for operators. Any new system that is implemented needs to be the best solution for residents and for Council staff.
- The current level of free collection provided by the Council is one 90 litre sack per fortnight. The capacity being proposed in the consultation is 240 litres which is the capacity of one wheelie bin and would be the equivalent of 2.5 sacks.
Waste Container Colours
- Standard colours for different materials will help increase understanding nationwide and reduce contamination.
- Costs of educating and encouraging people to recycle could be reduced as it would be possible to run nationwide campaigns if the colour scheme was standardised.
- The colour should relate to the top of the bins only to avoid impacting on world resources by replacing entire bins unnecessarily.
Additional points discussed
- The excessive number of questions in the consultation might deter people from taking part.
- Frequency of Residual Waste collections – currently it is every 2 weeks which works well as there is a bin collection every week and people only need to remember which bin to put out rather than whether or not it’s a week where there will be a collection.
- A weekly collection would be preferable, but it is not economically viable. Collection frequency could be affected by the time of year – weekly in the summer when it is hotter – although it would depend on what is in the bin as it wouldn’t be so much of an issue if it was dry goods only and no food.
- Some disappointment in the consultation – it steers views too heavily.
- There is no point recycling for the sake of it if there is no end market.
- Need to think outside the box and think of new solutions, for example, there are some companies in the UK that are converting plastics that can’t be recycled back into oil.
To receive a presentation by the Recycling Coordinator and the Refuse and Recycling Manager which outlines the current Refuse and Recycling arrangements and compares them with other Local Authority arrangements.
Members received a presentation by the Refuse and Recycling Manager and the Recycling Coordinator. The slides applicable to this item are included in the presentation attached as Appendix A to these minutes.
Streetscene Scrutiny Panel Priorities
To provide an opportunity for Members to consider the scrutiny priorities for the Streetscene Panel.
Members considered the Scrutiny Priorities for the Panel which included a proposed site visit to Coldeast on the afternoon of 18 July 2019 to scrutinise the work that is being undertaken to deliver the corporate priorities of transforming the woodland areas into a new public open space and to provide new sports pitches and a children’s play area.
In order to accommodate an invitation to the Head of Project Integra to attend a future meeting of the Panel to give Members a presentation on the analysis of the composition of waste in Fareham, the review of grass cutting will be deferred until the October Panel meeting. This will enable the grass cutting review to encompass performance throughout the summer.
RESOLVED that the Scrutiny Panel Priorities be agreed.