Agenda item

Progress Report

To brief the re3 Joint Waste Disposal Board on progress in the delivery of the re3 Joint Waste PFI Contract


The Board received a report briefing them on the progress in the delivery of the re3

Joint Waste PFI Contract. The report covered:


·         re3 Waste Strategy Targets

·         Waste Compositional Analysis

·         Contractor Appraisal

·         HMRC Reuse

·         Paint

·         Waste Acceptance Protocol

·         Communications

·         Foil

·         re3grow



The Board was advised that:



·         The data provided within the presentation covered the full 2018/19 contract year. These were the provisional results.

·         Bracknell Forest Council had not yet met their 2020 target. However there was an increase in the recycling rate compared to previous year. It was thought that introduction of wood recycling had helped to increase the rate.

·         The kerbside recycling figure was slightly down.

·         Reading Borough Council had an increase in recycling rate, however there was further work to undertake in the forthcoming year. It was though that the inclusion of  pots, tubs and trays had assisted in increasing the rate as there was also lower amounts of black bag waste.

·         Wokingham Borough Council had also seen an Increase in recycling rates.

·         The re3 team had commissioned an analysis to determine the physical composition of residual waste collected at the kerbside – how much waste could have been recycled if in correct bins.

·         The slides covered the composition of waste from houses that could have been recycled through kerbside recycling or bring bank recycling. This was on average 18% across the three Boroughs.

·         The amount of recycling in residual waste collected at flats was higher that’s in houses. There was a large variance across the three Boroughs due to the different composition of flats. 

·         The last compositional analysis had been undertaken in 2016, and the same roads ands flats had been compared in the 2019 analysis.

·         Garden waste data had been removed  as it was seasonal.

·         Some of the data had been reclassified, as tetra packs, tubs, pots and foil had not been included in non residual waste in 2016.

·         There was less plastic bottles and paper than in 2016.

·         There had been a large increase in flats with more textiles present in Reading and Wokingham samples.

·         ACORN profiling had been used. The data was able to show which groups were missing key recyclables.

·         The data showed which groups were putting the most recycling in their  residual waste. This tended to the less affluent areas in Bracknell Forest & Reading and the most affluent areas in Wokingham.

·         The textiles category did not include nappies.

·         The contactor appraisal sat alongside the contractor measurements and had been introduced a couple of years ago.

·         Good scores had been received for areas such as customer contact and service delivery. Lower scores had been given for adherence to the contract and provision of financial information.

·         The contractor had commented that they were not happy with the scores or processes.  The contractor had asked to work with re3 to ensure the scores improved at the next appraisal. Officers reassured the Board about the objectivity of the appraisal process and welcomed the Contractor’s willingness to improve.

·         Members requested that the contractors attend the next Board Meeting.

·         There was now a good working relationship with the contractor, and they were much more responsive to the councils needs.

·         At the last meeting a reuse shop was discussed.

·         Further information regarding Sue Ryder had also been requested.  45 Tonnes had been collected in 2018/19. Just under £18k had been generated.

·         Precycle took reusable materials from HWRC and in March 2019 had increased the range of materials they take.

·         Precycle was in the early stages but was progressing well.

·         Precycle were not charity and were based in Reading. They collected material to resell in the UK or to reuse overseas.

·         Members suggested that the Sue Ryder initiative should be promoted as a good news story. 

·         A re3 reuse shop had been long talked about. The contractor was working up a proposal for the reuse shop run along side the current initiatives. The business case would be presented to the board at the next meeting.

·         It was expected that the reuse shop would be at Smallmead, Reading, as space within Longshot Lane, Bracknell, was very tight.

·         The 6 month paint hardening trail concluded in March 2019.

·         Feedback had been provided by the EA. They were broadly happy with the process at Smallmead so FCC were planning to submit a permit variation.

·         The process at Longshot Lane was slightly different as the paint was stored then all hardened in one go. In order to ensure that the EA were comfortable with the process at Longshot Lane FCC were asking the EA for extension to the trial to see If the same process could be used as at Smallmead.

·         The Chair, Damian James and officers from the re3 Project Team had met with Green Machine. Following the meeting, officers and Green Machine were going to review procedures and the ongoing performance of the scheme.

·         The permit variation could take up to 6 months and cost £6k.

·         Officers had proposed that, where proof of re3 residence was required by visitors to the re3 Household Waste Recycling Centres, printed documents (e.g. council tax, utility bills or formal correspondence) be used to demonstrate proof of address be issued no more than three months prior to the date of visit.

·         Members requested that the date be extended to 4 months as bills were often issues quarterly.

·         Many users still have re3 stickers in their cars.

·         Officers explained that it was likely that some residents, from outside the re3 area, were using stickers donated or lent by friends and family.

·         It was requested that a copy of bills on phones be accepted as many people get bills via email/online than in paper form.

·         The Lotta bottle winners had been announced with photos taken with Councillors and stories promoted on social media and local media.

·         re3 adverts had been included in council magazines. 


·         The download of the re3cyclopdia app was growing. Members and officers were requested to help promote use of re3cyclopedia as the issue of confusion over what can and cannot be recycled is often cited – such as in the Government’s recent Resources and Waste Strategy.

·         There had been over 4k searches each month and food items had been added for WBC.

·         Work was being undertaken with council’s customer services teams to promote and push customers towards the website and app for enquiries. 

·         The new website had been launched and was much more modern and easy to navigate. The feedback so far had been good.

·         Posters were being used at recycling centres to promote the recyclopedia.

·         The takeaway lid promotion had finished, although some entries were still coming through on social media.

·         Officers were unable to conclude an impact analysis as there was a lack of data from  last year, but it was thought that the promotion was worth doing again.

·         Over 4000 re3grow bags, of locally sourced and produced, peat-free compost, had been sold. There had been lots of positive posts on social media, from satisfied customers, and no negative feedback.

·         A meeting had been held, which the Chair attended, in March with local community groups which was focusing on plastic reductions. Representatives from Reading and Bracknell had attended. The meeting had been very positive and strengthened actions and efforts to reach out to the Town, Parish and Borough Councils.

·         The upcoming communications plan would be focusing on plastics as a priority item as the compositional analysis had indicated that there was still a significant number of recyclable plastic items in the general waste bins.

·         A number of posters and campaigns had been produced which used the environmental messages, but also combined this with the Council’s financial messages and council savings. Members indicated that they were very keen to link the two messages together as there was a clear link between the two.

·         The Board were keen for the message to be as specific as possible as often residents were not aware of what front line services were. Playground – v strong message – people see everyday link

·         It was requested that the reach of social media be shared with the Board at future meetings.




i.      Members note the contents of the report.


ii.     Members endorse the Contractor Appraisal as detailed at 5.14 to 5.19 and in Appendix 2 of the progress report and invite the Contractor to attend and present at the next Board Meeting in July.


iii.    Members endorse the recommendation at 5.39 for the re3 Waste

Acceptance Policy to be amended to require that specific types of proof of address should not be more than four months old.


iv.   That Members endorse the re3 Communications Plan for 2019/20 as described between 6.9 and 6.15 of the progress report.

Supporting documents: