Cornwall Council to consider extra funding for £62m waste programme

On 27 June, Cornwall Council’s cabinet will hold a meeting to consider plans to increase its current £62m capital programme to improve recycling infrastructure and deliver food waste collections, which can be introduced in 2023. With rising costs across the country, the project now needs more funding.

waste collectionThe planned infrastructure changes, the council states, will ‘improve recycling rates through the separate weekly collection of food waste, encourage more recycling, and reduce the amount of rubbish collected’.

The programme will see alterations to four existing facilities at Bodmin, Connon Bridge, Launceston and St Erth. A new waste facility in Hallenbeagle has also been proposed, replacing the Material Recycling Facility (MRF) and Refuse Transfer Station (RTS) at Pool. Planning permission has been granted for all redevelopment works.

So that changes to the collection service are supported, some facilities will be redeveloped to receive food waste, the new vehicle fleet and the increase in recycling material.

In a report to be presented before the cabinet, the council said that ‘the current approved programme is unable to contain the additional costs of implementing the new waste collection arrangements’. The revised budget for 2022/23 is £77m.

Cornwall Council says that it aims to ensure that all capital projects make ‘reasonable allowances’ for cost increases. However, the body notes, the effects of inflation and increasing costs of material and labour facing the construction industry, as well as issues such as rising fuel costs, have resulted in ‘unprecedented cost increases that could not have been anticipated’.

To fund the ‘extra borrowing’, it has been proposed that ‘some funds [be] transferred from the waste revenue budget to the capital financing budget’. If the cabinet agrees to the new plan, it will be referred to the full council for a final decision.