Agenda item

Response of the Acting Executive Director to the Scrutiny - Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group

To consider a report from the  Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed)




Cabinet Members considered a report from the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure in response to the Waste and 3rd Sector Task and Finish Group The Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board had commissioned the task and finish group to focus on the role of 3rd sector in waste reduction.


The Cabinet Member for Environment took members through the report and moved the recommendations.


The Task and Finish Group made six recommendations which were:-


·         Recommendation 1 - explore the approach towards reuse at HWRCs or periphery within contractual obligations and/or, capacity implications


The response stated that there were contractual obligations impacting on this recommendation, with the current Renewi 25 year PPP contract until 2034.  However, further options would be explored with the possibility of undertaking a pilot scheme at one of the HWRCs, which would need to be discussed with Renewi.  In the meantime third sector organisations would be encouraged to reuse as much waste as possible before it became “contractual waste”.


The first stage would be a benchmarking review of other Local Authorities who have implemented this type of approach, whilst being bound by a long-term contract.


·         Recommendation 2 - the Council should reintroduce the Waste Prevention Fund on the same level that it was previously available


Members were asked to note that the removal of the Waste Prevention Fund was agreed through the Strategic Planning/Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for 2018/19, the reinstatement of the fund could not be undertaken without finding an alternative budget saving to replace it.  Such alternatives would be considered, however, at this point budget savings (other than those already identified for the service) could not be identified.


Therefore the Cabinet Member was asking that this recommendation  would be noted but not agreed.


  • Recommendation 3 - to consider the role of the Waste Prevention Team in taking a more proactive co-ordination role bringing together and strengthening the reuse activity across the voluntary sector and waste partners across the county.


This function was a core part of the Waste Prevention Team’s remit and had been for a number of years. It was envisaged that the Waste Prevention Team would be effectively working with partners, the Cumbria Strategic Waste Partnership (and wider District Councils) and the waste sector, which would assist the communication of existing and future initiatives to the wider public.  The Team was currently part of a reshaping programme and the effective provision of proactive engagement across the third sector reuse organisations offering, information, improving communication and co-ordinating projects and programmes of work, would be fully considered as part of this.


·         Recommendation 4 - Local Committees take a more proactive area-based approach towards the promotion of waste reuse benefits and opportunities in their locality.


The importance of the role of local committees in developing an area-focused approach towards waste reuse was fully endorsed and encouraged as currently not all third sector waste projects were well connected to Local Committees. 


·         Recommendation 5 - the Council should work in partnership with Cumbria Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) and district councils to encourage the establishment of a reuse forum for third sector organisations in Cumbria.


The recommendation of a Reuse Forum was welcomed and would act as a ‘golden thread’ and encourage the sharing of skills, training and pooling of volunteers amongst third sector organisations, align services across the county for reuse and support sector wide funding bids.


·         Recommendation 6 - the Council will develop an internal engagement programme to explore opportunities to maximise the benefits of waste reuse across its strategies and plans.


Internally - recycling campaigns had been implemented internally supporting corporate strategies such as improving recycling facilities, the removal of single use unnecessary plastics and communication messages (signing up to the ‘Plastic Pledge’). 


RESOLVED that, Cabinet


(1)      accept and note recommendations 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Task and Finish Group, and

(2)      note recommendation 2 but that it be not accepted.


Supporting documents: