Agenda item

Waste Management Review – Waste Disposal

Further to the adoption of the council’s new Integrated Waste Management Strategy in July 2021 and subsequent planning for additional commissioning this report seeks to agree the council’s preferred waste disposal arrangements necessary to implement the strategy.


The cabinet member commissioning, procurement and assets introduced the report. She highlighted the intention to extend the current contract for 5 years and the move to reduce waste to landfill to just 1% in 2022. Work would take place with local community groups to try and stop waste going into landfill.


The interim programme director – waste initiative and the head of environment, climate emergency and waste services summarised the key points of the report. They explained that better separation of recycling as set out the waste collection proposals previously discussed would result in more income for recycled material which would offset some of the increased costs in disposal. The proposed 5 year extension of the current contract would give the council time to investigate options and how to make best use of the facilities available. The council would have control over its recycling including where material was sent for processing.


The cabinet member thanked colleagues at Worcestershire County Council and the district councils within Worcestershire. She noted the continued opportunities to work together and learn from each other.


Cabinet members discussed the report and noted that the wording of the variation agreement was under discussion but the contractor understood what was expected. The proposal would generate a financial savings for both Herefordshire and Worcestershire.


Group leaders and representatives commented on the proposals. There was general support for the proposed extension of the contract. In respect of the energy from waste plant it was noted that this appeared to be used properly but the council would keep opportunities under review and explore new technologies such as carbon capture as they became viable.


Concerns were expressed about an increase in fly tipping. It was stressed that this was a criminal offence and that if waste was traced back to the producer of the waste the council would seek to prosecute. Households were urged to do due diligence on anyone offering to dispose of waste.


It was resolved that:


a)               Cabinet agrees that the current position within the Parameters set out in Appendix 1 represents an acceptable position for the council to progress Mercia Waste Management Limited's ("Mercia") proposals for extending the duration of the Waste Management Service Contract  (“WMSC”) for a period of five years until 11 January 2029 by entering into a variation of the existing WMSC


b)               Subject to recommendation (a), that the Section 151 Officer following consultation with the Service Director for Transport, Environment & Waste be authorised to negotiate the form of a variation to the existing WMSC with Mercia to put into effect Mercia’s proposals:

1)               to extend the duration of the WMSC by 5 years provided that the Variation is in compliance with the Financial, Contractual and Technical Parameters as set out in Appendix 1

2)               to vary the WMSC to achieve the council’s preferred waste collection model as determined by Cabinet in response to the accompanying Cabinet Report ‘Waste Service Review - Waste Collection’

3)               to accelerate the reduction of municipal waste to landfill and achieve a maximum of 1% to landfill starting in 2022 at a cost of £120k per annum until the extension commences in March 2024


c)               Cabinet, having regard also to any further report from the Section 151 Officer on the details of the council's position as potential providers of appropriate funding for the project, to:

i.                 amend its Treasury Policy Strategy and associated Treasury Management Statements to reflect the extended loan arrangement in the extension period;

ii.               to authorise the Section 151 Officer to conclude all financial due diligence requirements remaining with the parameters stated in Appendix 1;

iii.              amend the Medium Term Financial plan (MTFP) assumptions to reflect the WMSC variation as appropriate;


d)               Cabinet authorises the expenditure of up to £75k from the council’s waste reserve and delegates authority to the Service Director Highways, Environment and Waste to commission a future options paper and to develop a capital business case for future site and facilities requirements beyond the proposed extension period; and


e)               The Section 151 Officer be authorised to update the Joint Working Agreement between Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and Herefordshire Council to reflect the extended term of the WMSC and future arrangements between WCC and the Council.

Supporting documents: