Agenda item

re3 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 on progress in the delivery of the re3 Joint Waste PFI Contract.


The report covered:


·       re3 and Council Performance Statistics

·       re3 grow

·       re3 paint

·       Rigid Plastics Recycling Trial

·       Climate Change

·       Communications


Sarah Innes reported the performance statistic for all three Council, which included the provisional figures for April 2021, which showed that all three Council were in the low to mid 50%. All three Councils had now rolled out a food waste collection service, Reading in February 2021 and Bracknell in March 2021. The statistics reflected this change and highlighted the difference for both Bracknell and Reading in their statistics compared to last year. Wokingham had also seen an increase in their recycling figures, which was due to the new recycling bags, which had been introduced in March 2021. These had proved to be successful in keeping the contents dry with no rejections reported since mid-March. It was expected that the April 2021 figures would be reflective of future performance.


Monika Bulmer, reported that the re3grow sales had been very successful, and the report stated that to date over 75% of stock had already been sold. However, in the past few weeks, all the bags had Smallmead had been sold, with a small number left at Longshot Lane. This gave confidence that a similar or higher order next year would be successful. Full numbers would be reported at the next meeting.


 It was requested that more comms be done regarding the re3grow process and the processing cost, as well as highlighting that this was non-profit. It was confirmed that this information was already in the public domain, but the message would be reemphasised next year when the bags went back on sale.


Repaint, had now been available to residence since December 2020, it had a slow start due to lockdown and winter months, however due to increased promotion and a change of location of paint cabinets at both sites the offering was looking more promising. April had been the most successful month so far with half a tonne of paint being redistributed to the public. There would be further promotion with stickers being placed on the tubs, so residents could take photos of their DIY projects which could then be shared on social media and raise awareness. There would also be comms regarding which type of paint would be suitable for reuse would also be created as well as details regarding hardening old paint. It was requested by the Chair that each Council advertise the paint service in their communications.


It was reported that there were now over 20,000 users of the re3cyclopedia, which had double in the last 12 months. The app had been well used and since the start of the year there had regularly been over 10,000 searches a month. The app was awaiting an upgrade which would include a barcode scanning option, which was the first of its kind anywhere in the UK and was at its final testing stage. It was hoped that this would be ready by late summer/early autumn.


Each of the re3 partner councils had made commitments to take action to reduce their carbon emissions and communications relating to Climate Change were key moving forward. A online calculator that shows how recycling of single household items can contribute to efforts in combating a climate change will be added to the re3 website. Using this tool, residents would be able to see how much CO2e could be saved by recycling and will learn how this amount of CO2e relates to the number of cars taken off the roads. These calculations will be used to develop recycling awareness messages within a wider focus on the environment and practical steps that residents can take. The current plans would be shared with members for comments, but transport and energy usage could be included.

The re3 Partnership was keen to explore the options available for extending their recycling services and Officers had previously looked into a number of different possibilities for the recycling of rigid plastics but an option had not been found that was cost effective and allowed for a stable outlook for the waste. An option had now been found which would meet both of those aims and a trial was now planned to start at the start of July. There was a specific list regarding what could and couldn’t be recycled and the trial would enable the partnership to establish the quantity of waste that can be diverted from landfill and the input needed in order to meet the quality requirements of the offtaker. A meeting had been held with the contractor and signage would be placed at the sites. Members would be kept up to date regarding the progress of the trial.


It was questioned what would happen to the hard plastics once they had been taken off site. Sarah Innes confirmed that a desktop audit had taken place in relation to what would happen to the waste. The ridged plastic would be taken to a centre on the South Coast and separated into different polymer types and baled up. It would then go to the north of England where it would be processed, and they would be turned in to pellets and would be made into a product which would be able to be sold. Concerns were related to the emissions in regard to the travelling that the plastic would be doing. It was suggested that during the trial the ridged plastics could be used to create something useful in the community of one of the three Councils. A video had been offered by the offtaker that the Board were keen to use.



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