Agenda item

re3 Workshop


The Board received a presentation from Oliver Burt, re3 Strategic Waste Manager and Project Director, as part of their re3 Workshop. Following the presentation, it was planned that the separate Councils would then hold their own individual workshops. The presentation was intended to inform these individual workshops and each council would set aspirations and objectives, which would be brought back to the board.


Arising from the presentation, the following points were made:


·         In January 2020 a new strategic pathway had been discussed, which had been delayed while the councils focused on issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

·         The last 12 months had been difficult, but great recognition, of the work done throughout waste management during the pandemic, had been received.

·         Both facilities were up for a Recycling Facility of the year award.

·         A strategic pathway had been introduced in 2016, since then plastic and wood recycling had been introduced, improvements made to HWRCs and food waste recycling had been introduced in Wokingham and would shortly be introduced in both Reading and Bracknell.

·         Collectively across the partnership £14m was spend on collection, £23m was spent on disposal, there were £5m on overheads, £8m of income from services such as garden waste collection, charges levied on non-household waste and from government grants. The net cost was circa £35m.

·         There was great scope to make changes to the processes.

·         There were a number of current factors that needed to be thought about at present, these included market demand, public engagement, legislation, Covid and Climate Change.

·         The partnership manged to successfully accommodate the different approaches of each Council.

·         It was important for Bracknell Forest Council that their imminent service roll outs be successful. Similarly, for Reading, where services in flats were also of importance Dry paper and card collection changes for Wokingham were important for 2021/22.

·         The focus for the re3 partnership during 2021 were to ensure recycling waste from disposal would help reduce cost and improve environmental outcomes.

·         Reducing contamination would help increase recyclability and help reduce costs.

·         The HWRCs would be focusing on reviewing the booking system, and also help visitors to maximise the efficiency of their trips.

·         The HWRCs would also be seeking ways of reusing more locally.

·         The change in demographics and population growth of residents need to be looked at more closely from a waste perspective. ONS modelling showed an aging population between 2020 – 2040. This may change the way waste is collected and how the service is changed going forward.

·         As a result of the pandemic, it is possible that more people may be move out of cities, to areas such as the ones covered in the partnership.

·         If 40% of the recyclable material in residual waste was captured and recycled, then significant savings and efficiencies could be made in 2021.

·         The re3 partnership used only 3 material processors used that were not in the UK.

·         Vehicles and haulage needed to be looked at as part of the environmental impacts.

·         A synthesis of energy usage and generation and local treatment could be explored.

·         Each Council had made their Climate Change commitments, and these would be considered within a subsequent re3s strategy.

·         It had been reported that waste sector emissions had fallen by 46% since 2008.

·         There were big legislation changes to waste collection, within the forthcoming Resources and Waste Strategy, with further consultation in March 2021.

·         Compulsory collections consisted of core set of six materials including a glass collection.

·         There was strong public support for a free garden waste collection.

·         There were three prescribed collection systems, one of which would have to be adopted, recognising the procurement cycle in such contracts.

·         Municipal waste would replace household waste, bringing England into line with the system already adopted in Wales.

·         A deposit return scheme (DRS) was an important aspect of the new legislation, it is likely to cause some change and potential disruption to existing methods of waste collection.  Government assumptions indicate that 85% of relevant packaging types could be returned via a DRS.

·         It would be possible to consider the development of a food waste facility,if this was one of the things that the Council’s aspired too.

·         It was requested that the thoughts from each council be delivered back within a fortnight so Officers could look to report back at the next meeting.