Agenda and minutes

Waste Management Working Group - Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 5.00 pm

Venue: Virtual MST

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Waste Management Working Group, held on 1 July 2020.


The minutes of the Waste Management Working Group held on the 1 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.


Collection Outline - timeline and impacts / Extended Producer Responsibility


Julie Rogers stated that following the last meeting, Members had agreed for Officers to investigate and to start working towards the strategy to include the introduction of food waste, to replace the refuse one week, with the refuse to be collected the alternative week, recycling every week and gardening waste fortnightly. 


Susan Reddick provided members with an overview of the revised collection methodologies with impacts on the options in relation to the residual, recycling, garden only and food only. Members were also referred to the document in terms of resource impact, impact on residents, estimated recycling rates based on other local authorities’ outcomes with those collection regimes. 


She outlined that the earliest date would be September 2021 to introduce food waste and recycling in a staggered approach over a four to five month period, avoiding the summer months, if alternative vehicles were required. The fortnightly recycling could be introduced quicker than the food waste as there wouldn’t be the delivery of kitchen caddies or bins. The fortnightly residual waste could then be introduced once the food waste and the recycling collections had started to ensure the operational elements were being met. Therefore the introduction of fortnightly collection would commence in early 2022.


Members were asked to consider the number of vehicles, the number of licenses and also the size of the depot. The storage of the kitchen caddies would need to be stored somewhere before delivery.


Julie Rogers referred Members to the timelines considering the type of vehicles being used and asked for their view on a phased introduction of the strategy.  For example consider keeping the garden collections fortnightly, officers are working on arranging for these collections to take place on the same day as other bin collections but on a fortnightly basis.  Then consideration could be given to introducing the food waste. Members were also advised that with such a massive change, impacting every household, there would be some operational challenges and also resident behaviour challenges and these would be mitigated as much as possible through the communications plan which would be covered in a further item on the agenda.


Members agreed they did not want to consider the option of recycling moving to fortnightly collections.


Members received an update on the progress made so far on the Flats Recycling Project.


Members agreed that they were happy to proceed on a phased approach and agreed that clear messages should be provided on how the Council would proceed and communication would be undertaken with each individual household.


Members had a lengthy discussion on the use of the single use plastics and packaging and how this could be referenced within the strategy. Members also agreed that the Council should look at local businesses within the borough on how recycling could be improved.




Julie Rogers asked Members to consider whether enforcement should be used for those residents that continued to contaminate bins or provide excessive amounts of side waste and if so at what point would this be undertaken.


Marcelle Puttergill referred to the Cleaner Greener Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee report that was previously discussed on the Oops strategy and confirmed that Phases 1 and 2 of that document had already been done. Although phase 2 had stopped due to COVID-19 this would commence again. Phase 3 of the document had included that enforcement be used as appropriate and where education had been undertaken. That for enforcement to be used, there had to be evidence that the Council had adopted a three stage approach. These were (1) demonstrated that the Council had provided information on what needed to go into each bin (2) provided an opportunity or given a warning to the resident to identify what they had done wrong and (3) provide some form of education. This would be an opportunity to take this forward after it had been made clear that the Council had undertaken those three stages.


Lisa Preston agreed that this was based around education and advice provided prior to enforcement. That the other type of enforcements used by the Council were civil offenses with the legislation on enforcement for domestic commercial waste receptacles being covered under the civil offense. Before this action could commence there would have to be a communications exercise that would feed into the strategy to identify what was expected and what would be required. Also evidence would need to be provided on the impact of this on the borough, the environment and then a warning notice, a final warning and then an intention notice. These three stages would provide the evidence required to identify persistent offenders. The enforcement team currently did not issue fixed penalty notices but if Members thought there was an appetite to proceed, the next step would be to go through the communications process and then to go through the three stages. Lisa Preston stated that she had made enquiries with other local authorities but had not found a local authority who used the Section 46 Civil Power, this may be because there was a lot of work involved for this to commence but stated this was a good opportunity to do the communications work and to put those steps in place and for Thurrock to lead the way.


Julie Rogers stated this would not be a means of enforcing every household this would affect those residents who did not comply with their recycling and continued to contaminate bins. If the Council were unable to empty their bins this may cause a lot of side-waste and this would then enable the Council to use their enforcement powers. Julie Rogers stated that her recommendation to Members as part of the strategy would be to look at all the tools in the box and only to use them as a last resort  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Strategy Document


Members were provided with an electronic copy of the Strategy document prior to the meeting.


Andy Kelly thanked Members for their feedback and suggestions on the draft strategy and these had been incorporated into this document.


Members discussed how much of the national strategy element should be included within the strategy. Andy Kelly stated that the national strategy wording had been used to form an Appendix but it had been suggested that this information be referenced in a table.


Councillor Fletcher questioned what parts of the national strategy policy could Thurrock impact and questioned how this could work. That Members should be thinking about what questions they should be asking to make an impact on the national strategy and encouraged Members to send those thoughts to Andy Kelly so that they could be included in the strategy.


Councillor Ralph stated that some form of communication should be undertaken with Thurrock local businesses on packaging.


Julie Rogers stated that as a way forward with a clear steer on enforcement, consumer packaging and collection regime now was the time to include all the details discussed into that strategy and suggested that to keep Members updated a copy of the strategy would be sent to them in advance of the next meeting. Julie Rogers also stated that a written document was required to be ready by the end of August to ensure sufficient time for the report to be ready to be presented.


The focus of the next meeting would be to address any further questions that still required to be answered before the document was finalised. At the next meeting, Members would be taken through each section of the strategy to ensure they were happy with each element. Members agreed to this proposal.


Councillor Fletcher stated that ideally an updated draft of the strategy should be forwarded to Members the week before the next meeting. Andy Kelly stated that should be achievable and if further clarification was required from Members he would contact them. Julie Rogers stated that officer working groups were now being held weekly with other officers providing support to ensure this document could go forward. 


Marcelle Puttergill presented the “Strategy on a Page” to Members and referred Members to the objectives in regards to the waste hierarchy and the three points of Educate, Empower and Enforce. The purpose of the document was to condense the information onto one page for ease of reference to residents. This could then be available on the Council’s web site. Democratic Services would provide an electronic copy to Members following the meeting.


Members agreed that it was a good idea but agreed the document was too technical, they require it to be simplified, ideally pictorial and suggested the document be more specific to different types of households. It was also suggested that there be two documents – one being more technical than the other.


Marcelle Puttergill stated that once the content had been agreed, the document would be sent to the communications team for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


Communications Plan


Scott Morrow, Communications Officer, required some steer from Members on how the communications plan should run alongside the Strategy.


Members were asked to provide the communications officer with their thoughts and recommendations on how the key messages should be put across, the best channels to be used and the questions to be asked to reach the maximum number of people.


It was agreed that Officers would provide sample materials at the next meeting.