Agenda item

Household Waste Recycling Centres Update

Report of Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change


The Committee considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment Infrastructure and Climate Change regarding the outcome of public consultation on Staffordshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) together with proposed policy changes for implementation in 2023/24 (schedule 1 to the signed minutes).


The County Council had a network of 14 HWRCs across Staffordshire together a further jointly funded site at Lower House Farm, Warwickshire, whose primary function was to receive household waste. There was no statutory duty to accept commercial or trade waste at any of these sites.


Since April 2022 the operation of HWRCs had been brought in-house and better access to data had revealed a significant increase in the deposit of bulky and trade waste (especially at the Cannock site). This situation had significantly increased disposal costs and pressure on existing budgets. In addition, there had been minimal capital investment across the network during the time the service had been outsourced. Therefore, various changes to existing policies had been implemented with the aim of ensuring residents were not having to subsidise the disposal of bulky/trade waste and to finance improvements including:- (i) Commercial (Trade) Waste Policy; (ii) Van & Trailer Permits and; (iii) access by voluntary/charitable organisations and individuals to Staffordshire County Council’s HWRCs.


Members noted the impact of the changes as illustrated by performance metrics and customer comments/feedback, set out in the report. They also heard that since the introduction of the above-mentioned policy changes, the County Council had not been made aware of any significant increase in fly tipping by Staffordshire District/Borough Council’s.


During the full and wide-ranging discussion which ensued, Members gave detailed scrutiny to the work of the Partnership since their previous update in March 2023, asking questions, seeking clarification and raising areas of concern as necessary including:- (i) the future of the County’s HWRC network including the, currently temporarily closed, site at Wombourne; (ii) other potential major issues for HWRCs in the future; (iii) the need for signage at sites to be clear and up to date and; (iv) the need for effective communication of any significant policy changes in the future for the benefit of residents.


In conclusion, Members said they were satisfied with the progress made in implementing the policy changes and also welcomed news regarding the Capital Investment Programme. They commented on the improvements which they had witnessed since the service had been brought back in-house and looked forward to a further update on the arrangements to be adopted for disposal of material for re-use at HWRC Cannock.


RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.


(b) That satisfactory progress has been made to date on the implementation of the various policy changes and Capital Investment Programme set out in the report, having regard to the Key outcomes contained in the County Council’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026.


(c) That the management and operation of the County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, including arrangements for the re-use of material collected, be monitored closely and further scrutiny be given at the appropriate time, as necessary.      


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