Agenda item

Waste Strategy for Lincolnshire and National Resources & Waste Strategy

(To receive a report from Matthew Michell, Senior Commissioning Officer – Waste, which summarises the contents, with regard to municipal waste, of the new Resources and Waste Strategy for England)


Consideration was given to a report which summarised the contents, with regard to municipal waste, of the new Resources and Waste Strategy for England. In particular, it identified the synergies between that national Strategy and the recently adopted Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy (JMWMS) for Lincolnshire.


It was reported that four consultations had been released by national government since the publication of the agenda pack.  It was noted that the deadlines for all of the consultations was the middle of May 2019.  The consultations which had commenced were as follows:-


·         Consistency in recycling from households and businesses – this would include a core set of materials for recycling; free garden waste collections; separate food waste collections; non-binding performance indicators for local authorities; alternatives to weight based metrics. 

·         Reforming the UK Packaging Producer Responsibility System;

·         Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland for plastic drinks bottles, cans and glass bottles were also being considered for inclusion.

·         Plastic Packaging Tax – this would be a tax on packaging that contained less than 30% recycled content.


It was highlighted that a report was due to be taken to the next meeting of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership which would include details of the consultations and it would be proposed that the LWP submit a response to all four consultations, partner authorities would also be encouraged to submit an individual response as well.  There would be a need to look at options for how a county council response would be produced.


Comments by members and responses of officers included:-


·         In terms of food waste collection it was queried how the council would make a business case for this and whether there was an expectation that district councils would need to come on board.  Members were informed that the finances for this were better for urban areas rather than rural areas but that there could be significant savings from recycling food waste rather than it being included within the general waste collection.

·         The Lincolnshire Waste Partnership would be looking in more detail at how separate food waste collection would work in practice and what the actual costs and savings would be. It was thought that overall there would be costs rather than savings but there would be other benefits to collecting food separately. It was noted that the national direction of travel seemed to be towards compulsory separate food waste collection.

·         Another issue which would need to be examined would be what went into the energy from waste facility if food waste was removed from the waste stream and how this would affect the mix. The food waste would be processed separately through an anaerobic digester facility. This process would produce gas which could then be burnt for electricity or it would be fed back into the grid.  The solids left over from this process could then be used as a compost product.

·         In terms of the proposal to revert back to free green waste collections, it was highlighted that East Lindsey District Council only just covered the costs of the collection through the charge and the majority of people were happy to pay for it.

·         In terms of all the recycling activities it made more sense to turn the material into energy. However, concerns were raised regarding fly tipping and how this would affect the waste stream. 

·         In terms of green waste it was noted that in Boston people were encouraged to compost their green waste but there was a lot of green waste which could not be composted.

·         In terms of food waste it was queried whether residents should be encouraged to minimise food waste and if there should be a public education campaign about not buying more food than was needed, in a similar way to people gradually reducing the amount of plastic they used.

·         In terms of the tax on packaging it was clarified that this was one of the proposals being consulted on.

·         In terms of education and communication a session was due to be held that afternoon of officers involved with waste from throughout the county to discuss the communications strategy to accompany the waste strategy.  Waste minimisation would be an important part of this.

·         Anecdotal evidence suggests that when people had a separate food waste collection they started to question how much food they bought and subsequently reduced food waste.

·         One of the big flaws of recycling was that every authority in the country had a different method of collection and a different mix of recycling.  It was suggested that there was a need for it to be the same throughout the country.

·         It was highlighted that there was an animal feed company which asked for all of its plastic packaging bags to be returned to the company who would then recycle them.

·         It was suggested whether a working group should be set up to draft a response to the consultations.  Councillors B Dobson, Mrs W Bowkett and C Matthews volunteered to take part in the working group.




1.    That the report as presented by noted.

2.    That the Committee receive additional information on any future consultations arising from the new Resources and Waste Strategy for England.

3.    That a working group be set up to draft responses to the four consultations and the following councillors be noted as indicating they wished to participate - Councillors B Dobson, Mrs W Bowkett and C Matthews.

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