Agenda item

Cabinet Member Interview

Cabinet Member for Waste, Recycling and Cleansing - Councillor Philip Circus


The Cabinet Member for Waste, Recycling and Cleansing was invited to the meeting of the Committee to answer questions based on his portfolio.


A number of questions were submitted by Members in advance of the meeting, the Cabinet Member provided answers to these questions:


1.    Recent press reports stated that recycling of drinks cartons e.g. Tetrapak type containers is rather less common than the public perception. This is because of the plastic or other liners and the fact that there aren’t many facilities capable of handling them. Is this the case for West Sussex and are we asking West Sussex County Council to improve the apparent lack of facilities.


The Cabinet Member answered as follows:


Tetra Paks:


           Tetra Pak is the name of a packaging company that has become one of the world's biggest and well-known companies for producing milk, fruit juice and drinks cartons. That is why most people associate cartons with the name Tetra Pak, although other drinks carton manufacturers exist. Clean and empty drink cartons (Tetra Paks) can be recycled by putting them in your recycling bin at home.


Items for your recycling bin include: fruit juice cartons, long life milk cartons’, soup cartons and other cardboard cartons


2.    From recent presentations it seems clear that HDC is best in West Sussex in the recycling stakes but rather poor against the best. Do we know why we are not as good as we would like to be, what do others do that makes them better at recycling, and what are we doing to catch up.


The Cabinet Member answered as follows:




           We have a kerbside rate of 44.2% with our nearest neighbouring authority sitting at 39.2% giving us a national league table position of 159 with MSDC at 226. The authorities that sit in the top 10 all have alternate weekly collections with food waste collections. Some have 3 weekly collections of residual waste with food waste. We are moving to a new service in February. I have also indicated to the County Council that we would be willing to participate in a feasibility study of food waste. We have 27% of the residual waste bin capacity taken up with food waste


           As part of this change we e have retained 140 litre residual waste bins which engineers waste reduction and recycling. All the top authorities use 140 or 180 litre wheeled bins


           Some also offer a kerbside collection of WEEE – waste electrical and textile collections (we’ll be looking at kerbside WEEE in 2018/19).



3.    With the UK leaving EU are HDC still going to have to make the 50% recycling rate targets?


The Cabinet Member answered as follows:


           The EU legislation (Directive 2008/98/EC on Waste Reg 13) that covers waste is likely to be transposed across into UK legislation (UK Waste regs England & Wales 2011/12) covering the targets for 2020 at 50% further targets are set at 70% recycling by 2030. There are proposals to consider a more a appropriate target related to carbon footprint and commodity value in a world economy.


            Members noted that no local authorities in West Sussex are meeting the 50% target at this stage.


4.    What progress has been made in trying to secure more commercial waste contacts?


The Cabinet Member answered as follows:


We have undertaken direct mailing exercises covering Mid Sussex and Crawley. In addition a direct mailing exercise has taken place covering all the businesses in our district.


We have adverts placed in various publications covering BN5 and RH12 and 13 post codes as well as advertising in the District Post and County Times.


In December we have a marketing workshop to review related strategies and we will have a revised business marketing plan by April 2018. Our income growth:


2015-2016- £947,476.43

2016-17 - £1,047,157.70


Total increase in revenue £99,681.27


5.    Has there been an increase in fly tipping within the District?


The Cabinet Member answered as follows:


Fly Tipping is measured against the number of incidents, material type and general quantities. The number of incidents is shown below, over the last few years. The main material types that are found relate to construction and green waste and black sacks. 


For  2016 -17  against 2015/16 there has been a rise in total incidents of 142 from 595 to 737 .The increases seen relate to construction waste which has gone up by 38 incidents which may reduce now County have dropped charging at HWRS. Commercial Black bags up by 32 incidents. Household Black sacks up by 18 and White Goods by 17 incidents per annum.

Chichester had a total of 988 incidents


2015/16 & 2016/17 – areas of significant increase




Black Bags Commercial

Black Bags Household

White Goods
















So far we have brought one successful prosecution in 2017 and we have another pending in December with a number of cautions issued.


Future enforcement will be more robust with the use of FPN’s for more minor offences set at maximum of £400 however prosecution is still an option for more significant cases. The Cabinet approved a new protocol for FPNs that will standardise our approach across the Council.


To provide a more robust response to environmental crime in general, we now have a dedicated enforcement officer who will cover education and enforcement where appropriate.


6.    With the increase in development across the District has an assessment been done on what additional costs will be incurred for your portfolio. If so what are the costs and how much capacity will be needed.


The Cabinet Member answered as follows:


           The increase in development across the district was something that was taken in to account as part of the new bin collection service. The new service has seen significant investment in the service with new trucks and will help drive efficiencies. We are looking to save up to £1million as part of the new collection service.


           The move to the new model has seen extensive remodelling and route optimisation work has been carried out for each new round. This also takes in to account material type. This was undertaken with growth in mind.


           This was carried out through We anticipated growth and  we also made allowances for growth within the fleet procurement exercise and as we have the route optimisation software we can remodel as more housing becomes available in known areas such as North Horsham, Broad Bridge Heath and Southwater.


           We may need to adjust fleet numbers if additional recycling streams come on line in order to meet recycling targets beyond 2020. In West Sussex we produce inordinate tonnages of residual waste currently positioned as the 3rd highest producer of Household Waste per KG /House Hold much of it still containing valuable recycling materials. The changes to be introduced in February will encourage residents to recycle more and improve kerbside performance.

In addition to forecasting for Waste we also budget for Litter and Cleansing requirements as housing growth increases however through service delivery reviews we’ve found efficiencies to keep growth in budget to a minimum.


Additional comments included, Members stressed the importance of the design of the new housing developments, as roads can often be too narrow for the collection lorries to access. It was hoped that this would be partially addressed with the switch over to the new rear-end loaders.


Members were keen to see the opening hours at Horsham’s Household Waste Recycling Site extended, as the demand in Horsham was high.


The Council was also in discussions with West Sussex County Council about establishing a waste transfer station in Horsham. 


The Committee thanked the Cabinet Member for attending the meeting.

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