Agenda and minutes

South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership Joint Executive Committee - Friday, 9th June, 2023 1.30 pm

Venue: Whickham Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Helen Wade Email: 

No. Item


Election of Chair



(i)            The JEC agreed to the election of Councillor Linda Green as Chair.


Election of Deputy Chairs



(i)            The JEC agreed to the election of Councillor Ernest Green and Councillor Claire Rowntree as Deputy Chairs.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Linda Green (Gateshead) Ernest Gibson (South Tyneside) and Councillor Claire Rowntree (Sunderland)


Minutes pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The JEC is asked to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 10 March 2023 (attached)


The minutes of the last meeting held 10 March 2023 were agreed as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Residual Waste Treatment Contract 2022/23 - Stephen Atkinson, Contract Manager SUEZ



The JEC received a presentation providing an update on the Residual Waste Treatment Contact 2023/23.


For information, the JEC were provided updates across the following areas:


·        Health and Safety – covering personal injury, property, near misses and RIDDOR.

·        Contract Waste 2022-23 update – it was noted that 62,083 tonnes of waste from Gateshead had been accepted at Waste Transfer Stations.

·        Annual Contract Tonnages – including a breakdown of forecasted vs actual tonnes.

·        Contract Performance – it was reported that recycling performance is currently at 2.6%, exceeding the target of 2.1%.

·        Electricity Generation – providing a breakdown of generated and exported electricity.

·        Community Engagement – details of community liaison groups and a complaint were provided.

·        Visitor & Education Centre – the JEC noted that 4364 residents had been engaged as part of the programme.


Updates were also provided on matters relating to the Contract Facilities; it was explained that as part of the line 4 and 5 shutdown all filter bags had been replaced on both lines following four years of operation. The JEC also noted that there had been no issues identified with the turbine/generator service.


From the presentation, the JEC were advised that efforts are being made to increase recycling performance by stripping mattresses and recliners, reducing overall volumes of contract waste and improving the quality of burnable materials.


The JEC queried the nature of the complaint that had been received; it was explained that the complaint had been made proactively by a member of staff after a bad odour had been noticed. The JEC were assured that complaints of this nature are not received often.


The JEC discussed the disposal of batteries and the issues that can arise from incorrect disposal. Concern was noted that many of the near-miss incidents that had been reported were as a result of batteries (including those from vapes). Officers advised that efforts are continuing to increase public awareness about the dangers of incorrectly disposing of batteries.



(i)               The JEC noted the update.




Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Report attached


The JEC received a report providing an update on the latest position regarding the Residual Waste Treatment Contract, all other ancillary waste joint contracts and activities managed by the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership (STWWMP).


From the report, an update on contamination was provided. It was noted that contaminations levels have fluctuated in Gateshead but have generally remained at consistent levels in Sunderland and South Tyneside in the last 12 months. It was highlighted that contamination levels for South Tyneside are higher than the average in previous quarters and this issue will be monitored closely.


The JEC expressed concern at the levels of contamination; it was suggested that the existing guidance given to residents on what can/cannot be recycled at the kerbside is unclear. A discussion also took place on the differences between “recyclable” and what can actually be recycled locally, it was acknowledged that what can and cannot be recycled varies from region to region depending on local facilities.



(i)            The JEC noted the report.


Waste Sector News Update



The JEC received a presentation providing an update on news from the waste sector.


From the update, the JEC were made aware of the following:


·         Resource and Waste Strategy Update – it was noted that changes are incoming as a result of the RaWS (published 2018) although it has now been 2 years since the end of the second round of consultation on these reforms much of the detail is still unknown.

o   Extended Producer Responsibility/Deposit Return Schemes (in respect of the above).

·         Further bans on Single Use Plastic – it was noted that from October 2023 there will be bans on the sale of plastic plates, trays, cutlery and certain polystyrene cups/containers.

·         Disposable Vapes – the JEC discussed industry-wide concern about these items, particularly with regards to the negative environmental impact of disposable vapes and the dangers posed by their incorrect disposal.

·         New PET plant in Washington – it was noted that this plant is good news for the region.

·         Current Commodity Prices – the JEC were provided with an overview of trends on commodity prices for recycling collected via the blue kerbside recycling bins.


The JEC agreed that more needed to be done by local retailers with regards to taking back ‘used’ disposable vapes; it was noted that many consumers are not aware that they can take their vapes back to the point of purchase so that they can be safely disposed of.


Further concern was noted by the JEC on the use of vapes by children; it was noted that many vapes come in bright colours with fruity flavours which does nothing to deter young people from taking up the habit.



(i)            The JEC noted the updates.


STW WMP JEC 2023/24 Meeting Schedule pdf icon PDF 94 KB




(i)            The JEC noted the 2023/24 meeting schedule.