A five year waste strategy document was presented to Test Valley Borough Council’s Cabinet last week. Members were able to see both the national and local context, the borough’s waste journey over time; service performance and the outcome of public consultations. The final section has a concise action plan with realistic and deliverable projects. http://www.testvalley.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling
Environmental Portfolio Holder, Councillor Graham Stallard said “ The Council’s waste collection service is rightly applauded by many of our residents and members. More than 53,500 properties are visited weekly – that’s nearly 3 million visits a year - with a very low percentage of missed bins.
“Costs have been contained - despite a substantial house building programme in Test Valley - by the effective reorganisation of collection rounds and the Council’s home grown “Recycling Stars” initiative is a successful and well known campaign. As a partner in Project Integra, we also share the success of Hampshire’s low landfill percentage – one of the leading authorities in the UK in 2017, with only 6.14% of our waste going to landfill. That means that nearly 94% of our waste is either recycled or used to produce electricity.
“However, we want to do more to increase our 33.1% recycling percentage, particularly with regard to the collection of recyclable material currently being put into black bins, and we recognise that providing continuous improvement in respect of waste minimisation, reuse, recycling and composting is an important issue and a key priority for both residents and members. Being an ‘in-house’ service means we offer a reliable, high quality and efficient service for the borough’s residents.”
Through several public consultations, residents were given the opportunity to share their opinions on a variety of waste related topics. The strategy document shows those ideas and options and which ones are feasible for further consideration. The overwhelming consensus was for a system that collected the largest range of materials possible and was simple for residents to follow and understand.
One of the key priorities in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19 is ‘Enjoy: the natural and built environment’ and within this priority it states investment in ‘increasing recycling and reducing the amount of household waste’.
In 2016/17 nearly 24,500 tonnes of household waste was collected from the black bins and nearly 8,000 tonnes of recyclable material from the brown bins. Over 1,000 tonnes of this was rejected after sorting and had to be disposed of in a landfill site or burnt at an Energy from Waste facility instead. Recycling bin contamination is becoming an increasing issue throughout Hampshire. Within Test Valley we have put measures in place to try and reduce this and we are closely monitoring our levels of contamination.
The strategy document also highlights work currently being undertaken by Project Integra including support for a new single Super Material Recycling facility which will manage a wider range of materials including pots, tubs, trays and cartons. Currently only plastic bottles are collected within Hampshire, which are then sorted and sent on for reprocessing within UK and Europe.
· We also provide garden waste, bulky waste and clinical waste collections. The Garden Waste Collection Service is a popular service with more than 12,500 households subscribing annually, contributing over 7% to the borough’s 33.1% recycling rate (2016/17).
· We maintain a network of over 100 local recycling centres which collect a variety of materials: glass bottles and jars, textiles, media and books, cartons and aluminium foil. In 2016/17, we collected more than 2,500 tonnes of glass for recycling.
· We also clean the borough’s streets and the material we collect (litter, detritus, leaves etc.) all negatively counts within our recycling rate calculations. In 2016/17, nearly 2,500 tonnes of street cleansing material was included in the calculation.