The Committee gave consideration to a report which informed Members of the public consultation currently open in respect of the draft Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for Lincolnshire. In presenting the report, Officers outlined the purpose of the Strategy, how it had been developed and by whom, the stages of the consultation process and the steps which would follow. Section 5 of the report set out the key factors Officers considered the Strategy should address from both a county-wide and West Lindsey perspective.
Finally the report requested that the Committee form and approve a formal response to the consultation. A proposed consultation response had been prepared by Officers and was included at Appendix 1 and would be amended to reflect and key comments made during the debate.
Debate ensued. Members commented on the well supported, highly functioning, customer friendly waste service which currently existed across the District and the need to safeguard this. Furthermore the health of the workforce needed to be safeguarded and the current system was delivering this also, supported by performance statistics. The need to keep abreast of new technologies which were developing at apace, proving further solutions and opportunities to improve recycling rates was considered vitally important. Recyclate streams differed from local authority to local authority and it was suggested that coming to a general consensus regarding collection streams in the future would assistant in generating a market for materials.
The document made reference to writing to neighbouring Local Authorities, but there was a view that greater action should be taken with regards to North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils given their location. The need to develop reciprocal arrangements in respect of household recycling sites was much required and of paramount importance.
In response to a question, Officers confirmed that individual representations to the public consultation were also welcomed and would be accepted.
Officers thanked Members for the kind comments regarding the service and gave assurance that this would be passed on to the operatives. In responding to comments regarding separate collections, quality was becoming key and Officers outlined a number of national and global factors which were further driving the need for quality. Whilst acknowledging the ease of the current recycling method, without the quality the waste collected had little value. The Strategy indicated the impact of all collection methods would be objectively assessed, with a food waste collection trail due to commence in South Kesteven very soon.
Continued education was also considered an important focus and the need to make any literature as user friendly and customer focussed as possible.
Officers gave assurance that they would continue to put pressure on the County Council regarding reciprocal arrangements at household recycling centres and concurred with the points which had been raised by the Committee in respect of this.
RESOLVED that having considered the response contained in the Executive Summary section of the report to the consultation for the draft Joint Municipal Waste Strategy for Lincolnshire and the response to the Strategy questionnaire, as set out in Appendix 1, it be endorsed as an appropriate response, along with the comments expressed throughout the debate.