Waste Collection Consultation. Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Why are we consulting? Waste Collection Consultation Frequently Asked Questions The current Household Waste & Recycling collection service contract expires in The Council recognises the improvements made to waste and recycling collection vehicles, containers and equipment over recent years. As we move towards a new collection service contract in 2017 we want to take this opportunity to: - Modernise our recycling collections; - Increase recycling performance; - Make the service easier for residents to use; - Improve value for money. We are seeking residents opinions on a range of issues to guide our work on the replacement contract to provide these services. What services are affected? The primary services provided under the current Household Waste & Recycling collection contract with SITA/SUEZ are: - Residual waste collections (Black Bin) - Recyclables collections (Green Box/bags) - Garden waste collections (Green Bin) - Commercial waste collections (Business waste) There are various other services in the current contract which are less visible to residents, they are also important and will need to be replaced or alternative arrangements put in-place: - The sale of recyclable materials - Clinical waste collections - Asbestos collections - Bulky waste collections (sub-contracted to Refurnish)

2 What changes are being considered for the new contract? There are many possible service configuration (choices) to be considered before the council advertises the new waste and recycling collection contract. Any changes to the primary services will be made to meet the aims described above, in particular to increase recycling whilst controlling costs. The basic choices can be summarized as follows: - Whether to providing wheeled bins or boxes for recycling - What materials we collect for recycling - Which materials to collect separately from the others - Which materials to collect mixed together (comingled) - How often to collect recycling and green waste - What size of bin / box to use for the different wastes and recyclables - Whether to charge for Green Waste collections (a non-statutory service) Note - we are NOT planning changes to the black bin collection frequency, this will continue on a fortnightly basis. Why can t you collect my black bin weekly? There are several reasons for this, most importantly of all are the financial considerations, secondly there are environmental considerations. To collect black bins weekly we would require twice as many refuse collection vehicles, drivers and loaders this would cost add in excess of 1m a year to the cost of these services which would need to be paid for through increased council tax which is not an option. The move to fortnightly collections of black bin waste in recent years has been accompanies by additional capacity (bins or boxes) being provided for items that can be recycled such as paper, plastic bottles, food and drinks cans, glass and compostable garden waste. Evidence shows that increasing the capacity to recycle and reducing the capacity to throw things away has been the most important factor in increasing recycling levels.

3 Why is recycling so important? There are a limited amount of raw materials on earth for us to use to make things, it doesn t make sense to continually throw away the things we have made and make new ones. Recycling old products into new ones is often far more energy efficient than creating new ones too, energy use is a major contributor of greenhouse gases like Carbon Dioxide which are linked to the phenomena of global warming. For these reasons the government has set legally binding targets for all local authorities to recycle 50% of their household waste by the year There have been a range of legal measures introduced in the last 20 years, such as targets to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, which have been the main drivers for creating a greener economy as policies evolve we are now making the transition to what is called a circular economy. How does the new contract relate to the recent re-route of waste and recycling collection rounds? These issues are not related. The waste and recycling collection routes introduced in October 2015 were concerned with delivering an extension to the current contract through to The changes formed part of a transformation in how waste and recycling services are delivered in the borough following the opening of a newly built waste transfer station in Kirk Sandall and the new waste treatment facility (Mechanical Biological Treatment or MBT for short) in Rotherham for our black bin waste. The new routes were designed to focus our collection vehicles in one area at the same time i.e. so that waste and recycling collections are carried out in different zones on different days. The new routes are more efficient and therefore more cost effective, delivering a saving of 1.4 million.

4 What is a Mechanical Biological Treatment facility (MBT)? MBT describes a processing facility that combines mechanical processes for sorting waste by size, density and type with secondary process for biological treatment of the organic waste (either composting or anaerobic digestion). The MBT facility turns our waste into Refuse Derived Fuel for Ferrybridge Power Station (which is used to produce electricity) and Compost like material (used for land remediation). The facility can also recover small amount of recyclable materials (plastics, Metals and Glass) that have been placed in the black bin incorrectly rather than recycled. Why use an MBT facility? Household Waste from across Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham is now processed at the new Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility, located at Manvers in Rotherham. The MBT facility was constructed under a 25 year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract arranged with the three councils and the government, the aim is to reduce the amount of waste sent to land-fill and to increasing recycling rates by 7% across the area. Landfill capacity in the region (and the UK as a whole) is becoming harder to find and MBT is a much better environmental option for what to do with the waste we create, by recovering energy and useful materials from it. What is a Private Finance Initiative (PFI)? PFI s are a form of contract whereby large public infrastructure projects (such as building schools, hospitals and waste treatments plants) are built using money from the private sector (investors or government departments). It is comparable to asking your bank to lend you the money to buy a house (a mortgage) and then making repayments over a number of years until the house (or facility in this case) is your own.

5 Where does our household recyclable waste (Green box) go? Responsibility for marketing and selling the recyclable materials we collect is part of the current household waste collection contract operated by SITA/SUEZ. Recyclable materials are separated by their staff (at the kerbside) and delivered to our new Waste Transfer Facility in Kirk Sandall where they are bulked-up and sold direct to reprocessors. We have yet to determine whether to include the marketing and sale of recyclable materials in the new waste and recycling collections contract. We may decide to collect certain materials (such as Paper or Glass) in separate containers from each other at the kerbside and then sell these direct to reprocessors ourselves. For other materials that are light and bulky (such as plastic bottles, cardboard and drinks cans) it may be better to collected them mixed together (making them cheaper to collect and transport). Items that are mixed together can then be taken for processing into separate material streams at a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). We may choose to award a separate contract for this work. What is a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF)? A materials recycling facility or MRF is a large scale industrial facility where mixed recyclables materials are sorted into different types (e.g. plastics, cardboard, paper, metal) using a mixture of manual and automated processes. When the materials have been sorted they are sold to reprocessors and manufacturers where they are used to create new products. It is important to have an MRF to sort mixed materials and also to remove anything that is not recyclable. This helps provide quality (clean stream) recyclables materials that manufacturers need to make goods and products. Plastic bottles and cans in particular need to be sorted into various grades to realise their true value, an advanced MRF can do this but it would be impractical to ask resident to achieve the degree of separation required.

6 Where does our household Green waste (Green bin) go? We are in the process of awarding a new 5 year contract with a local composting facility to turn our Green Waste to PAS 100 certified compost. Because of the Animal Bye Products Regulations it is important to understand we cannot combine our food waste with Green Waste, as this would then need to be Anaerobically Digested (like composting but in air-tight vessels which gets hot enough to kill bacteria). Why are Recyclable materials and Green Waste Important? There are two main reasons: Firstly, recycling and composting is a lot cheaper than disposal. Secondly, the Council has a legally binding government target to achieve 50% recycling of household waste by The new collection contract must enable us to meet this target. We are currently achieving 40% overall recycling: 17% from mixed recyclable materials (Green Box); 23% from Green Waste (Green Bin). What are the financial implications of recycling v disposal? In addition to our statutory target to recycle 50% by 2020, we have also made a commitment to achieve 50% recycling to access PFI credits (now Called Waste Infrastructure Credits) from Government, worth in excess of 2m per year to Doncaster to help fund the new facility. In general terms the more recycling and green waste we collect the lower our overall costs: Green waste composting costs approximately 20/Tonne; Mixed Dry Recyclables can be processed for 0-50/Tonne depending on the range of materials present, their quality and the levels of contamination;

7 Disposal of Grey bin waste via the MBT facility (or alternatively via landfill) is approximately 100/Tonne. The more waste we recycle there is more potential for spare capacity at the MBT facility. Should there be any spare capacity at the MBT facility, which is not required by the 3 councils, this may be utilised by the contractor and any income generated will be shared, this reduces our overall costs even further. What options are being considered for the collection of Recyclable Materials? Prior to launching the full consultation residents were invited to attend Focus Groups to look in detail at a range of options as follows: 1- Fully Comingled (mixed) recyclables in a single bin; 2- Comingled recyclables in a bin with a separate container for paper; 3- Comingled recyclables in a bin with a separate container for glass; 4- Comingled recyclables in a bin with separate containers for paper AND glass; 5- Fully separate collections with 4 boxes for paper, metals, plastics and glass. Attendees voted for their preferred and least-favourite options following detailed discussions of the practical, financial and legal aspect of the service: Options 2 and 4 scored equally high; Options 1 and 3 scored neutrally; Option 5 scored highly negatively. The Council is therefore focusing its attention on options 2 and 4 for this consultation. Why does Paper benefit from separate collection? Paper needs to be clean and dry for recycling. When it is mixed with other items, particularly bottles, it soaks up any liquid residues reducing its value. If it get too wet it is no good for recycling. Paper contributes roughly a third of the overall weight of recyclables we collect and when kept clean and dry it can

8 be sold direct to paper-mills for reprocessing, it therefore makes sense to collect it separate from other materials rather than paying to process via an MRF. Why does Glass benefit from separate collection? Glass breaks easily during collection and becomes difficult to separate from other materials at an MRF; it is also highly abrasive on mechanical equipment so MRF owners do not like it. Glass sorted at an MRF is generally low quality and has a negative value, whilst this cost is cheaper than paying for disposal it doesn t really make sense to transport it to an MRF and pay for processing. When we consider that glass contributes a third of the overall weight of recyclables we collect, and therefore its importance for meeting our recycling targets, it would be preferable to collect it separately, giving a much higher quality product that we can sell direct to glass reprocessors. This higher quality glass might attract a small income, much better than paying for MRF processing or waste disposal.

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