Presentation by Assistant Director Community Services
The Assistant Director Community Services gave a PowerPoint presentation (previously circulated) updating Members on Waste Management.
It was reported that responsible waste management was everyone’s business; reference was made to the Resource and Waste Strategy for England which set out targets for increasing recycling and minimize future waste growth; and the aim was to generate a circular economy in England.
Details were provided of the waste hierarchy; reference was made to the Tees Valley Joint Waste Management Strategy 2020-2035 which aimed to deliver a high quality, accessible and affordable waste management service; and the strategy objectives in relation to waste generation, reuse and recycling and waste recovery and landfill diversion were outlined.
Members were provided with details of the services delivered in Darlington; the trends for residual household waste, waste treatment costs versus budget and waste streams were outlined; Members noted the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting, percentage of household waste sent for energy recovery and percentage of municipal waste sent to landfill; and the changes required to improve performance were outlined.
It was reported that the Council was in the procurement process for the Tees Valley Energy Recovery Facility (TVERF); the TVERFwas designed to take 450K tonnes and would have 40- year lifespan; would provide a secure, sustainable, reliable and affordable solution for residual waste; would help Darlington and other LAs to work towards achieving zero-waste to landfill; and a carbon capture solution for Teesside and the TVERF was to be developed. In relation to food waste, it was anticipated that separate food waste collections would be introduced weekly from 2024/25; and that an approach to food waste treatments required scoping.
The timeline for waste management changes were outlined; and details were provided of the targets for reuse, recycling and composting rates, energy recovery rate and landfill rate.
Discussion ensued on the affordability of the Teesside carbon capture project, it was hoped that this would be government funded; the recycling of carboard and other materials that were not currently collected; Members were assured that the capacity of the existing transfer station was more than adequate to manage the waste collected by this Council and the waste would be transported to Teesside by road.
Members were informed of the work being undertaken by Officers to review best practices in other local authority areas to assist with the introduction of food waste collection in 2024/25 and following a question by a Member in attendance at the meeting Members were advised that whilst there was no intention to reduce the frequency of dry waste collection, this may be considered in the future as the quantity and composition of waste changed.
RESOLVED – That the thanks of this Scrutiny Committee be extended to the Assistant Director Community Services for his informative and interesting presentation.