How councils deal with your rubbish

Symon Fraiser
Symon Fraiser

East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council have awarded new contracts to jointly manage their waste.

The contracts will cover the next 10 years and are worth around £200m. Four companies will manage the recycling and waste materials that the two councils collect from their 263,000 households and will manage the 13 household waste and recycling sites provided by the councils.

For the past 15 years, one company has held the waste contract which ends in March 2015, when the new ones will start. During that time the emphasis has changed from simply collecting all waste to that of recycling and composting to keep waste out of landfill, reducing the millions of pounds the councils have to send to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in landfill tax.

When the new contracts start, residents will not see any changes to the way their waste is collected by the councils, but what the new contracts will do is provide value for money for council taxpayers and more flexible disposal services for the recyclable materials.

By increasing the amount collected from the recycling and composting bins, the recycling rates for both councils continue to rise. Currently the annual recycling rate is about 57 per cent in the East Riding and 52 per cent in Hull.

In recent years both councils have delivered many additional services, such as the collection of garden waste and food waste, and the recycling of ever wider ranges of materials.

Councillor Symon Fraser, portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Recycling, reducing waste and cutting down on what is sent to landfill is close to the hearts of residents in the East Riding.

“These new contracts have been shaped to take account of how we are all changing the way we look at waste. It is no longer rubbish to be thrown away but is something that should be recycled and given a new lease of life.

“We are all taking greater care over the amount of waste we create in the first place and the contracts take account of that by reducing the cost of the contracts the more we recycle. The contracts will also enable us to continue to deliver good services for our residents in the coming years.”

Councillor Martin Mancey, portfolio holder for energy city at Hull City Council, said: “I am delighted that after years of hard work both councils have managed to secure contracts that will support us in continuing to deliver an excellent waste collection service including our recycling centres.

“It will also allow us to develop a local solution for composting our organic waste and improve recycling and diversion from landfill through the use of latest technologies which is a major step forward for us.

“The contracts mean that we’ve secured arrangements for the next 10 years that deliver value for money for our residents.”

The environmental benefits, landfill diversion, recycling performance and haulage requirements all formed a part of the evaluation process. A summary of the proposed facilities and the companies involved is outlined below:

FCC Environment: FCC Environment will continue to manage the network of 13 household waste recycling sites and centres across the two council areas. They will also manage three strategic waste transfer stations at Wilmington, central Hull, Goole and Carnaby. FCC Environment will also be responsible for the treatment of residual waste collected in East Riding which will be turned into a refuse derived fuel (RDF) and used to recover energy at a Multifuel Power Station currently under construction at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire.

Impetus Waste Management: Under the new contract, residual waste collected in Hull will no longer be disposed of to landfill but will be turned into a refuse derived fuel (RDF) and used to recover energy at a new advanced gasification facility at Billingham, Teesside which will be the first of its kind in the UK. Advanced Gasification is a process by which waste materials are heated to very high temperatures and converted to gas to generate energy, and inert materials that can then be recycled as aggregates.

J&B Recycling Ltd and Biowise Ltd: A consortium between the two companies will develop a new composting facility in the Willerby area for both councils’ organic waste. J&B Recycling will also use their existing materials recycling facility to sort Hull’s blue bin materials in Hartlepool.

Biffa Waste Services Ltd: Biffa will use an existing materials recycling facility in Walsall to sort the blue bin material collected in the East Riding before it is re-used into new products.

Background Information

The new contracts are a crucial element of the Councils’ Joint Sustainable Waste Management Strategy which was agreed following consultation in 2012 between the councils and their residents.

As a result of the feedback from residents and community groups, the strategy targets through to 2020 include:

ERYC: A recycling target of 62 per cent by 2015\16 and 65 per cent by 2020\21

HCC: A recycling target of 55 per cent by 2015\16 and 60 per cent by 2020\21

A landfill diversion target of 85 per cent by 2015/16 and 90 per cent by 2020/21

A reduction in the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill to 15 per cent of the 1995 level by 2020/21

An increase in the recycling rate of the council’s internal waste to 65 per cent by 2020/21

Customer satisfaction levels of 90 per cent for their waste management services, and a performance within the top 10 per cent of similar waste management systems

Reduced CO2 emissions relating to waste management services by 2 per cent to 3 per cent per year.