Contact: Helen Conway Email: email@example.com
The Joint Executive Committee is asked to approve the minutes of the last meeting, held on 11 December 2020.
The minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2020 were agreed as a true record.
The Committee wished to place upon record their thanks and appreciation to Andy Whittaker who had recently retired from South Tyneside Council.
The Committee thanked Andy for his work on the Joint Executive Committee and wished him well for the future.
Declarations of Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
The Joint Executive Committee received a report which advised of the latest position regarding the Residual Waste Treatment Contract and other ancillary waste joint contracts and activities managed by the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership (STWWMP).
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.
Residual Waste Treatment Contract (RWTC)
During the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic restrictions, household waste levels have continued to remain high. All partner authorities have been able to maintain normal residual waste collections from households across STWWMP without interruption.
The JEC were advised that in recent months, the EfW has become a key facility for the management of waste arising from the new COVID-19 lateral flow test centres located in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. Guidance issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the waste should be classified as chemical, not clinical waste. This enabled the separately collected material to be directly delivered to the EfW by the partner authorities on a weekly basis following temporarily permission from the Environment Agency (EA) for the facility to accept such waste, which must be processed within 24 hours of delivery.
The reopening of schools following the publication of the lockdown roadmap and easing of COVID-19 restrictions resulted in a change to the disposal guidance for lateral flow tests waste arising from schools and businesses, which can now be disposed within the general residual waste stream. However, such material produced by universities and official COVID-19 lateral flow test centres must still be managed as per the original DHSC guidance.
The JEC received an update on the EfW Service Update including appendices attached to the main report highlighting contract performance for the period April 2020 to February 2021 and average plant availability.
The JEC were advised that the third JICR was previously submitted by Willis Towers Watson and has been reviewed by STWWMP and support from colleagues at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) a response from STWER is still awaited.
STWWMP continue to review the previous request received from STWER for changes to the insurance cover.
STWER had already indicated that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant increases to insurance costs. Any potential issue around additional costs will be raised at the Liaison Committee meeting as further information from STWER is required.
The JEC were advised that all three of the WTS were fully operational between November and January. Recycling outputs from the sites include segregated street sweepings, wood and scrap metals. Routine maintenance ... view the full minutes text for item 108.
The JEC’s approval was sought for the publication of the refreshed South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy.
The previous review of the JMWMS was undertaken during 2012 for publication at the beginning of 2013. Therefore, the current JMWMS can now be considered as significantly out of date, largely due to the significant successes that have been achieved in recent years.
The JMWMS 2021-2025 was attached at Appendix A for information and has been designed to:
· Be easy to understand, follow, and enable progress to be monitored.
· Consider the context of partner authority waste services within the current financial climate and other restrictions on service delivery.
· Be clear about the priorities and not commit partner authorities to deliver actions with unknown external outcomes and/or influences
· Be proportionate and realistic about issues that STWWMP can directly influence at different levels, e.g. nationally; within their own operational activities; and across other services within their own councils.
The structure for the refreshed JMWMS was agreed by the JEC on 16 March 2018. This also confirmed a new approach to the strategy’s presentation which retained, yet simplified, the previous strategic objectives, and replaced commitments to specific actions and activities with over-arching service delivery themes. This approach is aimed at ensuring that the partner authorities can still achieve STWWMP’s aims and aspirations with flexibility in how services are delivered and within the resources that are available.
The JEC were advised that the previously agreed refreshed JMWMS structure was initially intended to provide strategic direction for the period 2018-2022, but it is now proposed that the refreshed JMWMS will cover the period 2021-2025.
The JEC received an update following the publication of the Waste Management Plan for England.
Published on 27 January 2021 by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Plan’s core aim – as specified in the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 – is to bring together all current waste management policies within a single, national document. The legislation dictates that the Plan must be updated every 6 years.
The Plan draws on a number of plans and strategies that are issued across a range of government departments, such as the:
· Clean Growth Strategy;
· Industrial Strategy;
· Litter Strategy;
· UK Plan for Shipments of Wastes;
· National Policy Statements for Hazardous Waste and for Renewable Energy Infrastructure; and
· Resources and Waste Strategy (RaWS)
The JEC were informed that the plan does not contain any new requirements or policy changes. However, it does update government thinking on key issues, including Energy from Waste, Recycling, and Extended Producer Responsibility. The Plan also confirms that Defra is currently considering five other waste streams where EPR could be introduced to improve waste management i.e. Textiles, Bulky Waste, Certain materials in the construction and demolition sector; vehicle tyres, and fishing gear.
The JEC were also advised that the Environment Bill will now not receive Royal Assent until autumn 2021, indicating that the delay is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The JEC were advised that there are no immediate implications for local authorities arising from its publication.
RESOLVED – That the information be noted.
The JEC were updated following the publication of the latest consultation exercises arising from the national resources and waste strategy proposals.
The JEC previously received reports regarding the first consultation exercises:
· On 14 June 2019, highlighting the STWWMP responses to the three consultation exercises; and
· On 13 September 2019, providing an overview of the consultation outcomes that were published by Defra.
On 25 March 2021, government published the next series of consultation exercises, which covered two topics:
· Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; and
· Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging
However, the anticipated third consultation exercise updating the previous proposals regarding the introduction of consistent recycling collections for all households and businesses remains delayed, with government recently announcing that its publication has been held back until after the local elections that are taking place in May. No additional details for the further delay have been provided.
This is a particularly significant consultation exercise for local authorities as further clarification is expected around key proposals, such as the provision of free-of-charge garden waste collections to all households with gardens and mandatory separate collection of food waste.
The JEC were advised that whilst government remains committed to delivering on its commitments to introduce a DRS, it also recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy and society. This has resulted in many people reassessing their values, decisions, and priorities in both the immediate and longer term. Therefore, it is now anticipated that the introduction of a DRS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will now be delayed until later 2024 at the earliest.
The joint EPR consultation has been issued by all four United Kingdom governments and contains 104 questions in total.
In 2019, approximately 11.7 million tonnes of packaging was placed on the UK market. The proposals being covered in this consultation are concerned with reforms to the packaging waste regulations, which have been in place since 1997. Initial reforms were outlined in the first consultation, which seek to transform the current PRN (packaging waste recovery note) system to ensure packaging manufacture pay for the full costs of managing the disposal of their packaging waste at its end of life, with higher fees being levelled if packaging is harder to reuse or recycle.
One of the key principles for extending producer responsibility for packaging is to enable fair and transparent payments to local authorities for the cost of collecting and disposing packaging waste from both the residual and recycling waste streams.
The JEC were advised that stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation exercises within a ten and a half week period, with both consultation exercises closing at 23.45 on 4 June 2021.
The joint partnership team will now develop a series of internal consultation exercises aimed at developing a joint partnership response to each consultation. This will include direct discussions with elected members/portfolio holders and senior service managers in each of the partner authorities.
The process will also ... view the full minutes text for item 111.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Joint Executive Committee will be held on Friday 11 June 2021 at 1.30 pm.
The next meeting will be held on Friday 11 June 2021 at 1.30 pm venue to be advised in due course.