(a) Developing and managing the circular economy in public and private sector settings - Amanda Reid, Waste Operations Manager at Savills UK waste Management
(b) Resources and Waste Strategy Consultation and Engagement with the Energy Saving Trust - Nicola Kemp Service Commissioning Manager, High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
(c) Discussion and suggested actions from presentations
a. The Circular Economy
Amanda Reid, Waste Operations Manager for Savills, made a presentation to the Working Group around the circular economy and the benefits of local authority initiatives. Matters reported on included why resources should be used in a more circular way to help provide a solution to the increase in carbon emissions by making the goods of today the resources of tomorrow. The three principles of the circular economy are: Design not waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems. Examples of circular business models which maximised customer benefit and value retention in products included lease, repair / maintenance, reconditioning which can all provide a longer life. Council led initiatives could include a plastic free strategy, linked to local businesses and the adoption of a : circular procurement policy. Community initiatives across the UK include: community bike repair, food surplus redistribution and surplus, re-use hubs and shops, library things, working with social enterprises to create volunteering and skill sharing partnerships and high street hubs. Reference was also made to initiatives undertaken by Savills and the creation of the Circular Economy Club.
Members made reference to similar initiatives locally, and particular reference was made to the possibility of empty town centre shops being used to create a library of things, for example, which it was agreed would be referred to the Regeneration Team for consideration. It was commented that community groups are often constrained due to funding and a lack of affordable, accessible space from which to operate.
b. Overview of future Government direction in regards to waste management and service provision
Nicola Kemp, Head of Service Commissioning for HPBC and SMDC made a presentation to members which provided an overview of future Government direction in regards to waste management and service provision (a copy of the presentation is attached). The presentation gave an introduction to the Resources & Waste Strategy (2018) and the key changes it proposed, including reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system (EPR), Plastic Packaging Tax, the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England, wales and Northern Ireland and establishing consistency in recycling collections in England. Consultation was on-going with a suggested implementation timeline of 2023. The implications for HPBC were set out and would mean the collection services for business and residents will need to change. It was noted that funding arrangements for waste management is to change, and local authorities should not be worse off as a result of these changes in services. In the meantime, work was on-going around greening the fleet in conjunction with AES.
Regarding food waste, members were advised that if food waste was processed separately to garden waste via an anerobic composter then as well as compost, another by product of the process can be used as an energy source. If food waste is processed together with garden waste then the energy source is lost.
Due to a change in the law, the producers of electrical equipment are now required to enable the sale of parts to repair items, rather than replace.
Regarding Waterswallows, it was confirmed that waste items were recycled and stripped down to their component parts. There are no re-use facilities currently, although it was reported that there is currently a planning application with DCC for the creation of such a facility at Waterswallows.
Ways in which further education and information could be provided around recycling were discussed, and reference was made to the stickers on the brown bins and information provided on the website and through social media. Through the consistency in recycling initiative it was hoped that producers would be required to provide clearer labelling on packaging.
c. Actions arising from the presentations
· Refer the issue around short term lets for community use as part of the circular economy
· Circulate information around the planning application at Waterswallows
· Policy to reduce paper / plastic use by the council