2 Foreword Waste collection and disposal is a key service provided by the council. By having efficient and effective processes in place we are able to contribute to the protection of the local environment and help residents understand the impact of their waste and how together we can work towards an environmentally sustainable solution to it s management. Since South Gloucestershire Council embarked on its 25 year partnership contract with Suez in 2000, excellent progress has been made in our recycling and composting performance. The refuse collection and recycling services to which the residents of South Gloucestershire have access, have been transformed. Communities are now able to reuse, recycle and compost a wide range of materials in a convenient and reliable way. At the same time we provide access to a wealth of information about waste prevention and how to participate in the various schemes. In 2000 we collectively recycled and composted seven percent of our municipal waste the rest of which was sent to landfill for disposal. We now recycle, compost or reuse 47.5 percent (2014/15) it is the intention of this strategy to give us the opportunity to significantly increase this figure. The last few years have seen very challenging times for the whole economy and we have been faced with significant cuts in our government grant support. This strategy therefore has to find new and innovative ways of continuing to drive waste out of landfill, putting it to better use, without increasing overall costs. We need to treat waste as a resource to be tapped rather than a problem. Since the beginning of our arrangements with Suez the service offered to our residents has also become more complicated and we are told that it is hard to understand. We believe this can reduce participation. Therefore when developing this strategy our intention is to simplify and standardise the service to make it easier to understand and in turn encourage participation. The priority for the authority is to further reduce the waste created, seek opportunities to encourage reuse and repair as well as increase recycling to meet EU targets. Our vision is: To deliver a service that meets our environmental aspirations for a sustainable future by valuing all resource and preventing waste whenever possible. Where waste is created, we will work to enable a circular economy that encourages reuse, repair and recycling by providing an easy to use service that is accessible to all residents. When reuse, repair or recycling is not possible we will promote waste as a sustainable renewable energy source and only use landfill as a last resort. This document is a revised waste management strategy for South Gloucestershire. It updates the previous strategy adopted in It sets the strategic objectives, policies and plans for and beyond. The document outlines our key drivers, our current performance, the services we provide and proposed changes to those services.
3 Introduction Waste management is an important part of the services provided by the council. It helps protect the local environment through the safe collection and disposal of household waste but also plays an important part in helping residents understand the impact of waste and how we can all work towards an environmentally sustainable future. The waste services are provided in conjunction with our Private Finance Initiative (PFI) partner Suez (formerly SITA). We have a unique 25 year PFI contract that started in 2000 to raise awareness of reuse and recycling and deliver waste infrastructure. At that time waste per household was 1,339kg and recycling was only seven percent. Through the relationship with Suez the refuse collection and recycling services to which the residents of South Gloucestershire have access, have been transformed. Communities are now able to reuse, recycle and compost a wide range of materials. Over the past 15 years the partnership has responded to changing times and the PFI arrangement includes a five yearly review of services. There have been legislative and policy changes both in the European Union and the United Kingdom and these will continue to be a challenge. The county has witnessed significant housing growth and experienced different economic shifts. The rate of growth and changing consumer behaviour has changed waste arisings and waste streams, which the partnership has positively embraced to ensure the service meets the needs of our residents. At the same time the waste industry has undergone a revolution, with technological advances offering increasingly advanced treatment options and the value of resources creating new markets. This latest updated strategy looks to reflect the latest legislative position and waste industry opportunities whilst meeting the needs of the council and austerity requirements. It recognises the demands that future growth will have on the service and outlines how it will develop its facilities to meet these challenges.
4 What we do currently Over the past 15 years the services provided have evolved with an increasing focus on waste minimisation, prevention and reuse. This evolution has added more complexity to the service. The current services provided are as follows: Households Most households receive an alternate weekly refuse and recycling collection service consisting of: a black 240 litre wheeled bin for residual waste a 55 litre green box for food and drink cans, glass, cartons (Tetra Pak), small electrical items, textiles, engine oil and both automotive and household batteries a 60 litre reusable bag for paper a 60 litre reusable bag for plastics a 60 litre reusable bag for cardboard a 5 litre indoor kitchen caddy for food waste a 25 litre external kerbside bin for food waste collected weekly. Up to ten different recycling containers are provided free of charge on request. In ,000 new containers were delivered at a cost of 215,837. Feedback regularly received on the containers include: It s difficult to find space to store all the different containers The bags don t last very long and are often blown down the street The current system is too complicated and people don t know what goes in which bag. Flats Communal waste facilities are provided to flats which are designed to meet the different collection and storage challenges. The service provides residual waste collections, a mixed paper and cardboard bin, a mixed collection of plastics, cans, foil and aerosols and a separate glass collection bin. There is no food recycling service. Optional services A number of additional services are provided to meet the needs of residents: opt-in garden waste collection costing 36 per year for a bin or 2 per sack for an ad hoc service extra bin capacity for large households
5 a bulky waste collection service costing 23 for up to three large items a weekly clinical waste and sharps collection assisted collections are offered to residents unable to move bins or recycling containers to their collection point. Sort It Centres There are four household recycling centres in South Gloucestershire called Sort It Centres. They are located in Mangotsfield, Little Stoke, Thornbury and Yate. The facilities are provided for residents of South Gloucestershire free of charge to bring a range of unwanted material/waste by car for safe and responsible recycling, reuse or disposal. The Little Stoke site provides a reduced service due to its limited size and health and safety constraints. This site is due for replacement in 2020 and is identified as a priority in our infrastructure plans. The sites are open seven days a week 8.30am to 4.30pm. The sites are very popular with over 700,000 visits in 2014, an increase of 24 percent on the previous year. Residents can use the sites as often as they like providing they bring only household waste to the site. Residents satisfaction levels with the service are high at 84.2 percent. In 2016 we will be implementing a number of changes including a clearer definition of a van alongside a van permit scheme and the introduction of a resident registration scheme. Revive shop The Shop There is a reuse shop at the Thornbury Sort It Centre that opened in January It sells selected items that have been donated by local residents at the four Sort It centres. Residents can browse indoors at the shop and buy pre-loved items at an affordable price. The venture has been a success with 165 tonnes of material reused and diverted from landfill since it opened. The updated strategy will continue the good work of the shop by promoting the facility and exploring further opportunities. Communication and customer services Communication with all residents about the waste services that are available in the area is a key part of the service we offer. Responsibility for waste communication has now been transferred from our supplier Suez back to the council and we have a dedicated Waste Communication Officer. The priorities for waste communication are ensuring information about the service is easy to understand and readily accessible. An important part of the service provided is customer service. Support will continue via telephone through the Corporate Contact Centre and at the One Stop Shops for face to face waste enquiries.
6 Strategic issues There are a number of key policies, legislative directives and statutory drivers that influence our waste management strategies and plans. Legislation Waste framework The revised Waste Framework Directive (2008) forms the basis of EU waste legislation and policy and sets direction for all member states. It sets the tone of waste as a valuable resource with the focus on prevention. A key element of the directive is the waste hierarchy. The hierarchy gives top priority to prevention followed by reuse, then recycling, energy recovery and disposal as a last resort. The aim is to drive waste up the hierarchy from disposal to prevention. This strategy works with the hierarchy and supports this approach with proposals around prevention, reuse and encouraging recycling. Most favoured option Prevention Minimization Reuse Recycling Least favoured option Energy recovery Disposal
7 Circular economy More often than not items are made, used and then disposed of in a way that results in a loss of valuable resources. A circular economy encourages better use of materials throughout the life cycle of a product. It aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest use and value at all times, keeping resources in use for longer and promoting repair, reuse and recovery of key materials. The circular economy is an emerging piece of EU legislation that was proposed in 2014 and a revised even more ambitious proposal is expected in Design/manufacture Recycling sector circular economy Retailer Re-use/repair/recycling Consumer/householder/LAs TEEP legislation A component of UK legislation is the Waste (England and Wales) Regulation (2012) It requires from the 1 January 2015 the separate collection of metal, glass, paper and plastic where it is technically and environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do. This is known as TEEP and affects how authorities can collect household material. It means that we cannot consider a co-mingled collection of recyclable material for households. Targets There are a number of EU waste management targets that influence this strategy. Current targets The revised Waste Framework (2008) sets the following targets for all member states by 2020: 50 percent recycling for household waste 70 percent recycling for construction waste 75 percent recovery for all waste
8 Proposed future targets Future proposed targets in the circular economy packages are expected to be: 70 percent recycling targets for household waste by percent recycling for packaging by 2030 material specific targets as follows: 90 percent for paper by percent for plastics by percent for wood by percent for ferrous metal by percent for glass by 2030 phasing out landfilling recyclables (including plastics, paper, metals, glass and bio-waste) by 2025 a maximum landfill rate of 25 percent reduction of food waste generation by 30 percent by 2025 Austerity As part of this council s response to austerity, cost pressures have and continue to require savings from the waste service. In the past three years the service has generated savings of 2m and has an outstanding target of 1.9m by 2020.
9 How well are we doing? Amount of waste collected In the financial year we collected 126,000 tonnes of waste, of which 120,000 tonnes was household waste from kerbside collections and Sort It centres. Overall waste volumes Black bin & Sort It Centre Residual Kerbside dry recycling Green waste Food Other Sort it centre recycling Over the past seven years the waste collected by the authority has decreased by nine percent. Arisings of municipal and household waste between 2008/9 and 2014/15 140, , ,000 Tonnes 125, , , , / / / / / / /15 Year Municipal waste Household waste
10 This decline in total arisings is even more impressive when we consider the housing growth, kilograms per household has declined by 61 percent since Growth and waste per kg per household kg 1,200 1, , , , , , ,000 Households 104, , ,000 98, / / / / /07 Households Kg per household 2007/ / / / / / / /15 96,000 Despite the success there are still challenges in how much we produce. Each household in South Gloucestershire generated 1,061 kg of waste in This is an equivalent of the average weight of 14 people. When compared to our statistical neighbours we produce more and so the drive to reduce waste arisings remains our highest priority. This strategy looks at how we can work together to address this priority.
11 Recycling and composting Recycling has increased significantly since the 7 percent achieved in 2000, reaching percent in Since then there has been a gradual reduction due to less recyclable material being collected and changes in markets. Of the 120,000 tonnes of household waste collected in , 47.5 percent was recycled or composted. This is below the European target of 50 percent by This strategy looks to re-energise recycling in South Gloucestershire to meet our own aspirations and reach current and future waste management targets. Waste to landfill Over the last six years South Gloucestershire s reliance on landfill for disposing of household waste has reduced from 59 percent to 15 percent through increased use of alternative waste treatment options such as Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT), which generates additional composting and recycling tonnage, and increased thermal treatment for the recovery of heat and energy. This strategy aims to reduce landfill to below ten percent by addressing large bulky waste material. Landfill of household waste 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2009/ / / / / /15 Food waste Every year in South Gloucestershire residents throw away 18,000 tonnes of food. This is equivalent in weight to 13,500 family sized cars. Of the 18,000 tonnes in only 4,979 tonnes was collected in the dedicated recycling services. This strategy aims to change residents behaviour to reduce food waste and increase participation in the recycling service.
12 Black bag waste analysis In , 44,868 tonnes of black bin waste was collected. Every year there is an analysis of the contents of the black bin and we have seen a consistent trend in recent years of the bins containing recyclable material. In 2014, 52 percent of the contents could have been recycled using the existing kerbside service. In over 4.5m was spent on disposing of black bin waste alone. This is 23 percent of the waste budget. If the 52 percent of recyclable material had not been in the black bin the council would have saved over 3m! This is because glass, paper, cardboard, plastic and textile all attract a rebate that helps reduce the cost of running the service and garden and food waste cost considerably less to process when recycled. It also means 23,331 tonnes of recyclable material has been disposed of that could have been used again in a circular economy. The four Sort It centre sites also provide facilities for residents to dispose of black bag waste; this should be waste that cannot be recycled. A review of material in 2015 identified that 75 percent of black bagged waste deposited at the centres could have been recycled. Best Practice In July 2015 WRAP released a report on recycling performance, it identified three key influences on recycling performance: 1 The size of residual waste bin as a negative influence on recycling 2 The importance of offering food recycling service 3 The importance of a garden waste service Our own research and bench marking of statistically similar authorities has identified the following key influences: 1 Those that offer weekly recycling typically collect 40kg per household of material a year more than those that offer fortnightly recycling 2 That reducing residual capacity increases recycling These have all been considered in this revised strategy.
13 Proposed service changes In order to make the next step change in the performance of our waste prevention and recycling output, this strategy sets out a number of key changes to the waste collection and disposal service provided by South Gloucestershire Council. These changes are designed to: reduce the waste arisings in South Gloucestershire simplify the kerbside service offered to our residents improve participation in the recycling of waste prevent waste being disposed of at landfill sites To reach this point we have firstly engaged with users to understand what they consider to be important and how they would want to see the services provided. We have listened to their views on how the service can be improved to make it simpler and easier to use. Residents have told us: that fortnightly black bin collections are important residents find the current recycling service confusing the numbers of containers for recycling makes storage difficult residents would like to understand more about what happens to the material collected more communication is required on the service Waste prevention Prevention Minimization Reuse Recycling Energy recovery Disposal We want to reduce the volume of waste we create to help protect our environment, sustain our valuable resources and reduce the costs of processing this waste. This strategy sets out how we can all help reduce our waste by recognising it as a resource and each taking small steps to help prevent it. We will undertake communication campaigns to support waste prevention: Targeted campaigns to reduce food waste and provide tools to help including; storage tips, meal planning advice, tips on writing shopping lists, advice on portion control and how to use leftovers. Help families with young children to find alternatives to disposable nappies by providing information about choices including: benefits of washable nappies, explaining misconceptions, providing information on where to purchase and where families can get help to choose washable nappies.
14 Help reduce junk mail by providing information on opt-out and mail preference services. The top priority is reducing the amount of all waste collected in South Gloucestershire. The key measures will be kg per household and kg per person. The target would be to reduce waste by at least five percent over the next four years. Waste minimisation We want to help minimise the waste that is created and raise awareness of the environmental impact of waste. We will do more to help residents understand what happens to material after it is collected. Past experience has shown that the best way to communicate waste related messages is by using bin hangers. These will continue to be used for annual calendars and service changes but we will also engage more widely including: roadshows in local communities static displays at libraries, community hubs and leisure centres leaflets information on the South Gloucestershire Council website and social media including Facebook and Twitter The work we do with local schools will continue and we will make available resource packs for waste related issues and officers to attend school workshops and assemblies for a small fee. In addition the team will undertake a minimum of two county wide school related projects a year. In 2015 this was a school competition to collect small electrical items and a workshop project to encourage food recycling with food bin monsters. Every year a variety of community groups are visited to give waste related talks. This will continue with a request for a small fee of 15 to cover costs. All monies collected will go back to the waste communication budget. We will also undertake more targeted messaging and campaigns using information on participation and the volume of waste collected on routes to encourage behaviour change in specific areas. This will also include face to face communication in residential areas.
15 Reuse Prevention Minimization Reuse Recycling Energy recovery Disposal We will promote reuse of items by providing information on how to give away or sell items as well as providing an outlet through the Revive shop at Thornbury which will be promoted. We will promote the idea that plenty of items residents see as waste could actually be reused, repaired or refurbished. A new area that will be investigated is opportunities for electrical items either through the existing reuse shop or through a partner organisation. In the longer term we plan additional shops as part of the development of Mangotsfield Sort It Centre and the planned new facility in the North Fringe. Recycling Prevention Minimization Reuse Recycling Energy recovery Disposal Weekly recycling The strategy will re-energise recycling by increasing the collection frequency to weekly, on the same day for all material. It will make it easier for residents to store material before collection and easier to understand the service offered. In order to simplify the service we will focus on the most popular, high volume material, so the following items will no longer be collected; engine oil, household batteries and car batteries which are all readily accepted at other outlets including the Sort It centres. To reduce the number of containers used to store and collect, it is proposed that the use of bags will cease and containers will be provided for residents to use if required. Residents will be able to use the containers how they wish and the collection crews will separate the material during the collection
16 at the kerbside. The use of hard lids or stackable boxes will also be investigated so recycling can be more easily stored. Black bin challenge Our annual waste analysis clearly shows that the capacity in our black bins far exceeds the need for residual waste, it is also a possible dis-incentive for recycling. A WRAP report in 2015 identified residual capacity as a key influence on recycling behaviour. By limiting our black bin capacity we will increase recycling in the region of ten percent. The black bins would continue to be collected fortnightly. Therefore to encourage recycling and in turn reduce waste, it is proposed that the existing 240 litre black bin be replaced with a smaller 140 litre bin for most households. A smaller black bin will give more than enough space for non-recyclable waste for a normal household. The diagram below shows the average volume of black bin waste in a 240 litre bin and the same waste in a 140 litre bin. There are some households that have and will continue to need additional capacity such as large families or residents with medical conditions. This will continue but in most cases be limited to one 240 litre bin. The qualifying criteria will be a minimum of six people or at least three children in nappies. The qualifying criteria for medical conditions will remain unchanged. To support households in the transition to smaller bins there will be a comprehensive communication campaign providing advice on how to reduce waste and recycle. Weekly recycling will be introduced before the change in bin size.
17 Energy recovery Prevention Minimization Reuse Recycling Energy recovery Disposal Any material that cannot be reused or recycled will be processed for energy recovery where possible. We will continue to seek advanced processing opportunities such as Mechanical Biological Treatment and Energy from Waste, working with local partners in the West of England. Disposal Prevention Minimization Reuse Recycling Energy recovery Disposal The council has reduced its reliance on disposal from 59 percent in to 15 percent in However, there is a large quantity of household items such as sofas and mattresses which currently go to landfill. As part of the strategy we intend to work with partners to investigate the purchase of a shredding facility at one of our sites. If successful this will enable us to turn these bulky items into smaller pieces that could then be processed for energy recovery or recycling, pushing them up the waste hierarchy.
18 Infrastructure to deliver the strategy The existing waste infrastructure has been in place for many years and in that time the four Sort It centres, two transfer stations and two vehicle depots have operated well. In recent years however, new housing and population growth has stretched these facilities. Some sites are reaching their design capacity and others are already operating at, or overcapacity. With the current capacity we will not be able to collect and process waste from the expected new housing developments without investment in additional infrastructure. There are three main areas identified for redevelopment: North Fringe Area The 12,040 new properties planned for the North Fringe will create significant additional waste. The existing facility at Little Stoke is already at capacity and offers a reduced service due to space constraints and will not meet future demand. To be able to manage the increased demand it is necessary to provide a new transfer station and vehicle depot in the area along with a modern Sort It centre with capacity to manage the expected waste streams from the catchment. There is also a plan to move the Thornbury reuse shop to the new facility and look at opening a visitor centre. It is anticipated that the new facility would open in The current Little Stoke site will close once the new facility opens. Mangotsfield With additional housing growth expected at Lyde Green and the expiry of the lease on the land at the current Cowhorn vehicle depot, we are also seeking to expand the Mangotsfield Sort It Centre and transfer station to manage the increased public demand and accommodate a new vehicle depot. There is also a plan to open a second reuse shop at this site. Yate The facilities at Yate are modern and sufficient to cope with the changes with some alterations to the main bulking yard. The yard will be flattened and extended within the existing boundary to create additional space for the extra materials. In addition to the main infrastructure required to support the service, a further project that will be considered: Anaerobic digestion plan There are 18,000 tonnes of food waste a year produced in South Gloucestershire. If we could capture at least 10,000 tonnes in the food recycling stream then we would have a sustainable stock for a local anaerobic digestion facility that would recycle the food waste into compost as well as creating a sustainable energy source from the methane gas generated in the process. It may also offer commercial opportunities to dispose of food waste, especially from local schools.
19 Summary The updated Waste Strategy outlines an ambitious programme of change to reduce the waste generated in South Gloucestershire over the forthcoming years, whilst encouraging reuse, repair and recycling. The strategy will deliver a service to residents that will be simple and easy to understand and enable residents to engage and participate with. It recognises the importance of communication and has set out its plan for engaging with residents and encouraging behaviour change through communication and targeted action plans. It recognises the changing shape of South Gloucestershire and new waste infrastructure that is needed to meet a growing population. The strategy also considers the wider environmental impacts of the service and has identified areas for future opportunities to further reduce landfill as well as using food waste as a sustainable source of energy. By working with residents we will, in conjunction with our partner Suez, deliver a waste service that will ensure a sustainable South Gloucestershire for future generations.
20 Glossary Residual waste items thrown away in the black bin for disposal into energy recovery or landfill Reuse According to WRAP, reuse is any operation by which products or components that are not waste are used again for the same purpose for which they were conceived through repair or refurbishment Sort It centres Sites provided for residents to take unwanted household waste for reuse, recycling and disposal. Transfer stations sites provided for bulking up of waste into large haulage containers for onward processing. Waste any item that is thrown away, either for disposal or recycling Waste minimisation diverting waste away from final disposal Waste prevention waste avoidance, reduction, reuse and preparing for reuse Legislation and Policy European Environmental Action Plan, 7th edition (2015) Waste Framework Directive (2008) Proposed Circular Economy package (2014) National Environmental Protection Act (1990) England s Revised Waste Strategy (2011) Waste (England and Wales) Regulation (2012)
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