As part of the County Council’s budget planning, a report into how savings could be made, while improving recycling, will be considered by Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at his Decision Day on 17 September.The start of a radical overhaul of how waste is managed in Hampshire will be examined by the County Council in the coming weeks.
Councillor Humby, explained: “Across the County Council, savings proposals are being developed to bridge the funding gap we face, due to reductions in our funding from Government, rising costs and inflation, and growing demand for council services. We need to find a further £80 million of savings, on top of the £480 million already taken out of the budget, since 2010, so we are having to look very carefully across our services.”
The report presents proposals to help meet this target, with a strong focus on changes to waste and recycling in Hampshire.
Councillor Humby continued: “With approximately 100,000 bin loads being delivered to our facilities for disposal every weekday, it is essential we make every pound we spend on waste and recycling count.
“Recent Government announcements on changes in the national waste system, and the challenge of improving poor recycling performance in Hampshire, means we must reassess the way we deal with waste.
“In terms of recycling, we know that our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) achieve a much higher rate than kerbside bins collected by district councils – in the national recycling league tables, not one district council in Hampshire is in the top half. This demonstrates that there is considerable room for improvement.”
By reducing the spend associated with household waste disposal, the County Council can protect the HWRC network - which residents value. Therefore, Councillor Humby will be considering proposals for reducing the financial subsidies currently paid to the district councils.
These proposals will include passing on the full cost of rejected loads of recycling to the collection authorities (district councils). If approved by the County Council, the changes would not take effect before April 2021.
Councillor Humby said: “The world has moved on since we set up the current arrangements with the district councils to manage Hampshire’s waste and recycling in the mid-1990s - and so must we. One in every five lorry loads of kerbside recycling arriving at our facilities now fails to meet recycling standards, and we can no longer afford to subsidise the current system which is failing to deliver the standards agreed over 20 years ago.
“We need to take decisive action to make sure that the reduced resources we have are targeted at boosting recycling levels. It is vital we have the right systems and funding arrangements in place to meet Government targets and future demand. I recognise that this will be challenging for all of us, but my intention is that we should work together to improve recycling performance across Hampshire.”