BAN Waste Select Committee evidence

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Phase 1 Day 1 2001-09-20 Barry Rowland (Directory of Cityworks, Newcastle City Council)

written evidence submitted in advance

Biographical information

Barry Rowland was appointed Director of Cityworks in 1994 having started with the Council as a management trainee in 1979. He has a range of professional and managerial qualifications including a MBA.

As Director of Cityworks he is responsible for a range of important Council services including environmental services, waste disposal, construction and building maintenance, highway design and maintenance, facility services and sports and leisure. Cityworks has a budget of �140 million and 5,000 employees. Barry is responsible for not only the management of these frontline services but the strategic direction of the services meeting national and local targets. He is also a member of the Councils corporate management team leading on a number of council wide initiatives including customer service development and improving the environment.

1. Waste Arisings

The quantity of household waste arisings handled by the City in 1999/2000 amounted to 122124 tonnes.

It is estimated that if current trends continue that an increase of 4.5% will be observed in 2000/2001 bringing the overall domestic arisings to 127, 620 tonnes.

Since 1999 there has been an increase of 9% over the period to date, this is three times the national average.

It is anticipated that these increases will be reduced in subsequent years through waste minimisation kerbside collection, additional bring schemes, home composting and other community schemes. These initiatives should significantly reduce the tonnages handled directly by the City.

Waste minimisation is important to stabilise the position this will be influenced by implementing a range of initiatives.

2. Waste Composition

Analysis of Newcastle's household waste is similar to national compositions and shown below:-

material % composition by weight
Paper 33%
Organic 30%
Glass 9%
Cans 8%
Plastics 6%
Other 14%
Total 100%

3. Current Recycling Recovery Rates

Since the closure of the Byker Reclamation Plant in December 1998 landfill volumes have increased significantly. This is due to non recovery of metals and the production of refuse derived fuel. This accounted for approximately 40,000 tonnes of material. The other recycling schemes currently operating are continuing to increase their volume. These are made up of additional bring schemes (these rates have doubled over the last ten years), green waste composting, recycling of metals and wood waste from civic amenity sites.

The current rate of recycling in the current year is estimated to be between 4-6%.

4. Current Contract for Waste Management

A number of contracts are currently in place to manage the waste arisings, these are:-

  1. Waste Disposal Contract
  2. Waste Management Contract
  3. Civic Amenity Contract
  4. Recycling Contracts

The majority of these are nearing the end of their term with the exception of the new Waste Management Contract that was signed in April 2001 for a period of 20 years.

5. Strategic Approach to Waste Management

Newcastle's waste strategy was developed against the background of the Governments Waste Strategy 2000 and the EU landfill directive. In arriving at the strategy a range of options were considered. The objective being to develop an approach which while sustainable offered flexibility, meeting the minimum recycling and recovery targets set out in Waste Strategy 2000. It was also essential to meet the financial criteria established by the City Council.

Furthermore the objectives established by the strategy take account of satisfying a range of Best Value performance indicators and Beacon Council status standards.

6. Range of Waste Management Activities

Within the City's Strategy the following main objectives are currently being undertaken or reviewed.

The levels of contribution to the targets as set out below [The % & Date columns are headed in the original Newcastle's Recycling/Recovery Targets - Ed.]:-

Element Contribution Category % Date
Composting 20% Composting 10 2003-4
Kerbside Collection 12% Recycling 15 2005
Civic Amenity/Green Waste 5% Recycling 15 2010
Bring Schemes 5% Recycling 34 2015
Metals Extraction 6% Recycling
Waste to Energy 23% Recovery

The overall contribution made by each of the categories above is summarised below.

Category Contribution (%)
Recycling and Composting 48
Recovery 23
Residue 29

The recycling, recovery and displacement from landfill, set out in Waste Strategy 2000, can be achieved by the successful delivery of the various initiatives considered by the Authority, and well before the specific short, medium and long term target dates.