Tag Archives: Conwy Borough Council
By Accounting for Energy – (3 min read) As the year draws to a close, we take a look back on some of the blogs we have brought you this year… Spotlight On… Conwy Borough Council lead the way Plastics, plastics, plastics Coverage in Materials Recycling World Green Brexit Pledge
We started the year by showcasing some work we have done with a client who saw a 56 per cent increase in wind farm income following our audit. We also highlighted how as one of the biggest landowners in the country, this client is seeking to ‘green’ their organisation. We have had another great year of helping organisations to get the best deals on their land rent payments and we have more stories like this to share with you in 2019.
This forward-thinking Welsh council is the embodiment of excellent waste management, as they have bucked the trend with a scheme that increased recycling rates, made big saving and cut residual waste. Conwy’s recycling efforts are definitely a leading example for local authorities.
Plastics has been a buzzword this year with zero waste initiatives growing rapidly on both a micro and macro level. We sought to keep you up to date with all that was happening though articles like our Carrots and Sticks piece where we looked at worldwide incentives to help behavioural change around waste such as the Plastics Pact, as well as legislative efforts such as the ambitious targets set by the Scottish government. With this week’s announcement on the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, and hopefully more clarity on Brexit, we will continue to keep you informed with developments within the Energy from Waste sector.
We were interviewed for this popular trade magazine back in the summer. It is the first piece of coverage we have had, and as the UK’s leading independent provider on land rent payments, we plan to build on this in 2019.
In the early Autumn, it looked like we were making firm progress with our departure from the EU, and this ‘Green Brexit’ pledge felt like a stepping stone towards certainty. In this article guest writer Paul Spackman outlined how the Agriculture Bill, and the Environment Bill which was announced this week as a draft, will help shape the UK’s agriculture and energy sectors after leaving the European Union and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 29 March 2019. However while we now have detail of what the government proposes, such as a new green watchdog with statutory powers after Brexit, we have no more clarity than we did when this article was published on the details of Brexit.
By Accounting for Energy – (3 min read)
As the year draws to a close, we take a look back on some of the blogs we have brought you this year…
Conwy Borough Council lead the way
Plastics, plastics, plastics
Coverage in Materials Recycling World
Green Brexit Pledge
By Travis Benn – (5 min read)
Carrot? Or stick? The argument over which method is the most effective probably started when the first donkey was yoked to a plough, but it may have gone on longer still in the recycling industry.
Ten years ago, the discussion was focused on Pay as You Throw; today, we are wrangling over extended producer responsibility and landfill bans. Whatever the topic area, the argument for legislative intervention is based on the fact that businesses and individuals are self-serving and will not act for the greater good if it conflicts with personal profit. But is this true, or do we live in a world where many companies are driving sustainable business at a faster rate than government intervention?
In the waste and recycling sector, there was definitely a time when legislation was key in changing attitudes and ensuring that the logistics were in place to help the UK meet the first EU recycling targets. Regulations such as the WEEE Directive, which governs producer responsibility and the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), have proved a challenge for business to meet, and have undoubtedly brought change faster than would otherwise have been achieved.
Westminster and the devolved administrations also have their own ideas. Scotland and Wales have made enormous strides. Wales cementing its position as the second-best household waste recycler in the world and in September Conwy Borough Council became the first to switch to four-weekly residual collections, a move which will save the council £390,000 each year, and expects to save materials going to landfill to a value of £1.6 million.
Meanwhile, the Scottish government has taken the view that robust legislation is needed to create sustainable growth and the health and well-being benefits that go with it. As part of this move, it has set ambitious climate change targets that aim to push Earth Overshoot Day back.
Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for a zero waste society. The plan describes a country which views all waste as a useful resource. With this concept in place, waste is minimised, valuable resources are kept out of landfill, and residual waste becomes just a small fraction of previous volumes. The commitment does not just apply to more lucrative, easy-to-process materials – in 2021, the government has pledged to introduce a ban on biodegradable waste to landfill, which means extra reprocessing capacity needs to be found. In 2016, more than 2 million tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste was sent to landfill.
Without legislation, some might say that times ahead look uncertain. The World Bank predicts that global waste will double by 2025, to 6.5 million tonnes a day. However, business is not standing still as more and more become aware either of their responsibilities or of the harsh fact that without greater care, businesses will have no resources to access in the future.
The World Economic Forum has created Project Mainstream, which aims to bring companies together to propel the Circular Economy away from small-scale experimental projects and into the mainstream. A number of companies have already agreed, including names such as Kingfisher, Veolia and Philips.
In the UK, businesses have been flocking to sign up to voluntary agreements such as Plastics Pact, or the Courtauld Commitment – a voluntary agreement aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing waste within the UK grocery sector.
Iceland has pledged to eliminate palm oil and plastic from its supply chain entirely by 2023, and others are also taking action on plastics. For example, under the voluntary Plastics Pact agreement, businesses are pledging to make 100% of packaging recyclable, actually recycle a minimum of 70%, and to introduce a minimum of 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.
Whether voluntary targets will prove a great enough incentive remains to be seen, but it’s worth also factoring in the importance of professional reputation. Where one leads, others will follow. As we, hopefully, move into an age of more joined up thinking between business and government, we may all be set to benefit from the £1 trillion in annual savings expected by 2025 if circular economy thinking takes off.
For further information, please contact:
0203 375 6144
By Freccia Benn – (3 min read)
Higher wages and cuts of £1.4 billion to central government funding in England are taking a toll on local authorities. With so many services to manage, councils are generally committed to protecting areas like social care. However, with children’s centres, libraries and road maintenance at risk, many in the waste management industry fear a halt to the addition of new recycling services such as food waste or, at worst, a return to the dirty days of the eighties with services reduced to a minimum.
However, Conwy Borough Council has shown that an ambitious approach can reap dividends. In 2016, Conwy took the radical step of reducing residual waste collections. Trials took place throughout the borough to see whether three or four-weekly collections were viable. The goal was to increase recycling rates to meet the Welsh Government target of 70% by 2025, to save on landfill tax, and to maximise on the amount and value of household waste sent for recycling, in order to reinvest into council services. The two trials achieved significant results, with the four-weekly residual waste system resulting in a saving of £390,000.
The cuts in collections will have a major effect on Conwy’s annual budgets, but the move has also boosted recycling. Recycling collected as part of the three-weekly scheme rose by 5%, with a 20% decrease in residual waste; the four-weekly scheme saw recycling increase by 14%, with residual waste falling by 31%. At a time when many councils are looking to save money by investing in energy from waste and cutting back on new recycling services, the results are particularly relevant.
Interestingly, there has been no evidence to show any negative impact to fly-tipping in the area and, contrary to the views of any potential naysayers, there have also been no increase in requests for additional bins. In short, Conwy Borough Council has not been flooded with over-flowing bins, rodents or angry residents – the trial has proven so successful that the authority’s Task and Finish Group has recommended that the four-weekly scheme be rolled out across the county, as an “opportunity to provide a sustainable long-term solution to recycle more, waste less and increase savings”. Good luck Conwy!
For further information, please contact:
0203 876 0324