News in brief 08/04/16
Havering Council promises tougher fly-tipping punishments after latest incident
Havering Council has vowed to press for custodial sentences for fly-tippers in the future after 10 tonnes of rubbish was dumped in Upminster yesterday (7 April).
The pile of rubbish, which completely blocked Little Gerpins Road where it was dumped, was nine feet high and 23 feet long and is the latest in a line of incidents for the council, which sees very large tipping incidents every couple of months.
Havering Council has had nearly 3,000 individual cases of fly-tipping in the past year on roads and in open spaces, which equates to around eight incidents per day and an estimated total cost to the council of £140,000. If unreported tipping incidents are included, this total rises to around £1 million.
This latest case is expected to cost taxpayers more than £10,000 to remove and dispose of correctly, money the council says it would rather spend on ‘vital front-line services’.
Council members are now discussing the installation of more hidden CCTV cameras into more rural areas of the London Borough to stop this happening again. Councillor Robert Benham, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We’ve had more than enough of this. I’m truly appalled at what can only be described as an industrial scale fly-tip.
“Everyone in the borough who genuinely cares about their local area needs to come together to help us catch these selfish criminals, whether it’s a lorry load of building waste or someone dumping an old fridge.”
Staff departures as Viridor consolidates recycling sites
Two senior staff members have left their roles at waste management company Viridor as it consolidates its UK recycling sites.
Bill Griffiths left his role as the firm’s National Organics and Recycling Manager last week (1 April), while Graeme Milne, Sales Manager for Scotland, has also departed.
Griffiths had been at Viridor for 11 years, and reportedly told colleagues that he would be heading for ‘a new venture in the world of resource management’.
Milne, who also held commercial responsibility for Viridor’s waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling division, meanwhile, ended his 12 years at the company in March. He will now focus on his new company Katalyst Business Consulting, based in Perth, Scotland, which specialises in zero waste, procurement, planning and WEEE services in the UK and Europe.
The Pennon Group, which owns the firm, announced in February that it would be ‘consolidating’ some of its recycling sites in order to save an estimated £9 million. Pennon Group Chief Executive Christopher Loughlin sated at the group’s Capital Markets event in Feburary that “if you wind back the clock Viridor was very good at moving away from landfill and good at predicting the policy change. But as prices have come down the market is very, very much less attractive than it was.”
New food waste strategy raises Peterborough’s collection by 25 per cent
Peterborough City Council has made changes to its food waste collection strategy in an attempt to encourage more people to use the service. It has already seen a 25 per cent increase in the amount of food waste collected, compared to the same time last year, the equivalent of 90 tonnes per month.
Instead of biodegradable liners, the council is now using standard caddy liners, supplied by Leeds-based Cromwell Polythene, which it says are ‘significantly cheaper’.
The new seven-litre HDPE liners come in rolls of 40, which due to the £65,000 saved annually by using them, will be distributed to all 82,000 residents of Peterborough. Each roll also contains a ‘more bags please’ tag to allow efficient reordering.
The caddy liners will be removed prior to the food waste being treated at the local Biogen anaerobic digestion (AD) facility using advanced separation equipment. There, the food waste is used to provide renewable electricity and agricultural fertiliser.
The move is part of the council’s Waste 2020 strategy, which includes investment in new facilities with an aim to reuse and recycle over 65 per cent of household and garden materials. It also intends to provide a sustainable alternative to landfill.
Amy Nebel, the council’s recycling contracts officer, said: “As for other cost savings, these will come from the avoidance of landfill and energy-from-waste disposal costs, as well as a lower gate fee at the AD facility as a result of us capturing more food waste for processing through an incentive provided by Biogen.”
Environmental Waste Controls (EWC) has been awarded the contract to operate a new household waste recycling centre (HWRC), opened by Lincolnshire County Council in Bourne last week (1 April).
The site, which will be officially opened in May, has already begun operations. EWC has also been awarded extensions to its contracts to operate two other Lincolnshire HWRCs at Market Rasen and Spalding.
Councillor Reg Shore, Executive Member for Waste and Recycling at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted that we have built a new recycling centre in Bourne which will provide local residents with a much better facility. The new site is modern, efficient, easy to navigate and has extra capacity to take people’s recycling.
“I am also pleased that Environmental Waste Controls will be running this centre, along with the ones at Market Rasen and Spalding, for the next year. Since the council and EWC have been working together to manage the facilities at Market Rasen and Spalding, recycling rates really have gone from strength to strength. The vast majority of materials that residents now bring to these sites can be reused or made into new products.”