Agenda and minutes

South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership Joint Executive Committee - Friday, 10th January, 2020 1.30 pm

Venue: Whickham Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Helen Conway Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 240 KB

The Joint Executive Committee is asked to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2019.


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2019 were agreed as a true record.


Declarations of Interests


No declarations of interest were received.


Fibre Recycling Collection Trial



The Joint Executive Committee received a presentation on the Fibre Recycling Collection Trail which has been in operation in Gateshead and South Tyneside since February 2019.


The JEC were advised that a single collection day on one round was selected in each authority and the WRAP have proved free of charge support for the initial evaluation of the trial.


The inner caddy was replaced with a 240-litre wheeled bin.  Residents were asked to place all their paper and cardboard into the new bins. Everything else including cartons would go in the dark blue comingled bin. In Gateshead 1046 (1% of total households) took part and in South Tyneside 1402 (2% of total households) took park in the trial. A range of properties were chosen to represent the different properties within the boroughs to include terraced properties with small backyards, communal properties and pensioners bungalows.


The JEC were informed that the trial was proposed by Palm due to the falling paper tonnages being collected separately in the caddy and to improve the quality of the fibre overall. Income is also generated for the separately collected fibre


As the trial was requested by Palm, it is not costing the authorities any additional resources as they also provided the bins, which are now collected every 4 weeks now in alternate fortnight, therefore no additional collection vehicles or crews were required. Information to residents pre-trial included letters, leaflets, calendars, bin stickers and a series of roadshows were also delivered. Each authority had a small number of enquiries and complaints. In Gateshead, 10 households refused to take part in the trial. No households refused in South Tyneside.

The JEC were advised that a number of key achievements were recognised from the trial. Most of the fibre, around 99% is now being processed separately in the new bin, and the number of comingled bins presented at kerbside is consistent pre and post trial. However, the presentation rates for the fibre bin have dramatically increased compared to the inner caddy.


The quality of the fibre has improved as contamination has been minimal, and by improving the quality of the paper and cardboard means the contractor will be able to find a market for the material more easily and more of it can be used at the paper mill to turn into newsprint. This is important as material prices for paper have recently dropped so the better the quality of paper the easier it is to find a sustainable UK outlet.


Contamination levels have reduced within the comingled material which has improved the recycling rate from the trial area and a small amount of side waste was reported. Income levels to both Councils have increased as the percentage of material that an income is received for has increased from 17% to 44%.


Costs associated with processing the comingled material has reduced as this material has reduced from 83% to 56%.


Financial modelling had been carried out to determine the financial impact to the Councils if this service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.


Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Report attached


The Joint Executive Committee received a report on the current position regarding the Residual Waste Treatment Contract and other contracts and activities managed by the Partnership.


The joint partnership team, continues to undertake several waste management functions on behalf of the partner authorities, including reviewing and verifying monthly contract reports, which detail materials processed and service issues. Once approved, invoices are processed and, where appropriate, apportioned between partner authorities within contractual timescales.


This is enabling, amongst other things, a proactive and timely approach to management of the RWTC which is operated under strict timescales. Similar benefits are also afforded to the procurement and management of other ancillary contracts, such as MRF, HWRC, and green waste composting.


Appendix A which was appended to the main report highlighted the latest 2019/20 contact year performance. During recent months, service availability has continued to be strong with plant availability 99.23% and turbine availability 98.80%.


The Joint Committee were also advised that the exercise to replace the Debt Service Reserve Account (DSRA) with a contingent Debt Service Reserve Facility (DSRF), is still progressing.


The reduction to the Unitary Charge should generate revenue savings for each partner authority and it is projected that the joint benefit will be £0.24m per annum and £4.8m over the remainder of the contract. It is hoped the exercise will be finalised this financial year.


The Joint Committee were advised that the Joint Insurance Cost Reports are provided by STWER every two years and they set out the mechanism for the insurance review procedure and sharing of insurance cost differentials. They illustrate the state of the insurance market during the term and any resulting increase or benefit from relevant insurance costs are shared between STWER and STWWMP.


The two outstanding JICRs have now been settled and the partner authorities have received a joint credit of £463,478. This was primarily due to the differences in the premiums and the PFI Insurance Market and Power and Engineering Insurance Markets having reduced rates consistently for the five years since the bid date base cost was established on 11 August 2010.


In the longer term, the position remains unclear as the exercise is linked to the base cost assumptions and any movements in the state of the insurance market in relation to our technology.


The Joint Committee were also advised that all three of the Waste Transfer Stations (WTS) have continued to remain available, with all sites accepting STWWMP contract waste without significant issues. Recycling activities are ongoing at each site, which includes the segregation of materials, such as street sweeping, wood and scrap metals.


Routine maintenance of buildings, plant and control systems continue to be delivered as planned and no issues have been identified.


The Environment Agency (EA) inspected the Campground WTS on 29 August 2019. No issues were identified during the visit.

The Joint Committee were advised that the TWTC affords provision for SUEZ to help to improve local prosperity across the partnership area by promoting vacant posts within their facilities. The Economic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


Communications Update



A presentation was given to the Joint Executive Committee on National and Local Authority waste related stories that have been in the media.


International Waste News


The Joint Executive were advised that a new United Nations Environment Programme assessment of plastic waste polices has found limited packaging related policies and ‘weak enforcement’ are aggravating the problem of plastic pollution in South-East Asia. Over half of the land-based plastic pollution in our oceans originates from just five countries, four of which are in South-East Asia, and this pollution has more than just an environmental impact – plastic litter in Asia Pacific region alone costs its tourism, fishing and shipping industries $1.3 billion per year.


The assessment report is the first comprehensive look at policies on packaging waste and standards in the countries in South-East Asia.


The Malaysian government has announced that it is set to publish a circular economy roadmap for plastics, which aims to provide a direction for policy and stakeholders, including state governments, and enable Malaysia to prepare for the ‘next step towards sustainability’ The plastic sector in Malaysia generated nearly MYR 31 billion in revenue last year, which is over £5.7 billion. In May 2019, Malaysia announced that it was sending back 3,000 tonnes of contaminated waste to countries including the UK, America, Australia and Canada after 60 shipping containers had been allegedly smuggled into illegal processing facilities.


The Joint Executive Committee were advised that UK Waste Management firm Biffa has announced that there should be a ban on the export of waste plastics as part of a drive for all plastics to be recycled in the UK, which they say, would retain the material as a resource, generate UK investment and jobs, and avoid unintended environmental problems in other countries.


A report commissioned by Biffa, says that the demonisation of plastics is also resulting in unintended consequences for UK recycling, which have the potential to make the UK’s plastic problem worse. Biffa is calling for simplification in plastic packaging materials with a focus on closed-loop recycling investment to ensure that where plastic packaging is necessary, it is developed to be recyclable as possible, whether in its original form for other materials.


However, according to a new report published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the UK faces a plastics capacity challenge as demand for recycled content increases. The report concludes that global plastic consumption is likely to continue to grow as emerging economies continue to develop.


The Joint Executive Committee were advised that Coca-Cola has unveiled its first ever sample bottle which has been made using recovered and recycled marine plastics. About 300 sample bottles were made using 25% recycled marine plastic retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches, through a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies; Indorama Ventures; Circular Seas; and the Coca-Cola Company. The bottles were designed and developed to show the ‘transformational potential’ of enhanced recycling technologies.


These are the first ever plastic bottles that have been successfully manufactured using marine plastic which can also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Joint Executive Committee will be held on Friday 13 March 2020 at 1.30 pm in the Whickham Room, Civic Centre


The next meeting of the Joint Executive Committee will be held on Friday 13 March 2020 at 1.30 pm in the Whickham Room, Civic Centre.