13 December 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Hertfordshire Waste Partnership details ‘challenging’ year

The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP) has incurred “significantly reduced income streams in a number of areas” for the last financial year due to challenges in recycling markets.

The announcement from HWP – the partnership which oversees waste for 11 councils in Hertfordshire – comes in its annual report for the financial year 2017/18.

According to the organisation, the combined budget pressure across Hertfordshire, forecast across a 12 month period, has seen an additional £1.5 million channeled into waste services.

Below: A table showing performance in waste management method for 2017/18

This is despite the partnership making a ‘twofold’ response to the “challenging market conditions,” which involved working with its service providers to redirect recyclables to alternative markets, and rolling out local campaigns to remind residents of the need for quality in recycling materials.

During 2017/18 the HWP has revealed that it dealt with approximately 513,000 tonnes of local waste at a cost of £82.11 million. Of this £43 million was spent on waste treatment and disposal with the remainder spent on collection services.

Concerns are also raised in the report that further market disruption is “highly likely” as Chinese authorities may delay export licenses for the start of 2019. “This will inevitably lead to surplus cardboard in the market towards the end of 2018, which in turn, will mean further price falls which themselves will be exacerbated by the annual surge in tonnages caused by the forthcoming festive season,” the Partnership said.

Recycling rates

On recycling rates, the report shows a “mixed picture” with five out of the authority’s 11 partners recording drops in performance, with only “minor improvements” for the remaining partners.

Overall, the recycling rate for HWP authorities (including 10 district and borough councils and Hertfordshire county council) was 50.9% in 2017/18 – a decrease of 1.3 percentage points from the previous year.

And, “significant drops” in the amount recycled and composted along with higher tonnages being sent to landfill resulted in the Partnership’s landfill diversion rate falling slightly to 86.2% compared to a high of 88.5% during 2016/17.

Despite what HWP notes as a “difficult year”, it says that the amount of total household waste per household (recycling, composting and residual waste) reduced during 2017/18 to 1,013kgs per household.

Fly-tipping

The report goes on to highlight the work the authority carried out during the last financial year, which includes campaigns for food waste, flats recycling and textiles, amongst others.

And, the Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group has seen “significant reductions” in fly-tipping across the county, with eight out of 10 boroughs and districts showing reductions compared to 2016/17.

Despite the ‘difficult year’ for recycling, Hertfordshire saw a ‘significant fall’ in fly-tipping – attributed to improved awareness of the issue

New works streams were funded by both Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and a number of local authorities.

Projects by different authorities included investing in mobile enforcement cameras and CCTV cameras; the roll-out of communications campaigns; and introducing bin sensors.

As a result, by the end of 2017/18 the number of recorded fly tipping incidents had dropped by 2,731 compared to the previous 12 months representing a reduction of 17.9%, the report shows.

EfW

The document also provides an update on Veolia’s plans for an energy from waste facility at Ratty’s Lane in Hoddesdon, capable of treating up to 350,000 tonnes of residual waste per annum.

The proposal for the facility was called in with a subsequent public enquiry taking place across the summer of 2018.

“The enquiry has now come to an end with the inspector due to report to the Secretary of State by February 2019,” the document states. “Should the facility be granted planning permission it is anticipated to be available from late 2022/early 2023.”

Related links
HWP annual report

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