Resource Update | Summer 2017

Resource Update
Meeting the Austerity Challenge
Veolia UK | Meeting the austerity challenge

Local authority budgets are under intense pressure and we recognise this challenge in light of central Government grant reductions. To help meet this challenge we have been working closely with our clients to ensure we are providing innovative solutions which deliver real value for money.

Charged-for Green Waste Services
For example, we are reducing costs by implementing charged-for green waste services for our customers, with 23 services now introduced across Veolia contracts, in urban and rural areas.

By introducing these green waste collection services we have helped generate revenues of £700,000 for Wyre Council and Blackpool Council.

The changes at Wyre were particularly successful with over 22,000 containers sold, and this covered over 70% of a £980,000 waste budget deficit resulting from the end of a county-wide cost-sharing agreement.

Blackpool Council’s green waste service change saw around 10,000 households sign up to the scheme which generated £250,000 revenue, and produced additional savings of £105,000.

Incorporating Additional Services
We’re also going the extra mile to provide real value at Warwick District Council where we recently included trash screen cleaning, across 90 watercourses, free of charge.  These trash screens are metal grilles in watercourses which collect all the litter and debris and prevent it from flowing into the rivers. This simple addition now saves the council around £10,000 each year.

Tackling Fly-Tipping
Fly tipping is an environmental hazard and puts an unnecessary additional burden on budgets.  To counter this nuisance we are now proactively tackling fly-tipping by engaging local communities to take ownership of local space.
In the London Borough of Tower Hamlets a Whitechapel primary school was suffering from criminal littering on a daily basis.

Our dedicated Education Officer and the school's 'Green Council' door-knocked all neighbouring residential properties and businesses, handed out  'Our Place, Our Space' anti-littering leaflets, and put an anti-littering banner outside the school.  To support the campaign we introduced free cigarette butt and chewing gum containers to encourage responsible behaviour. Flower beds were installed around trees, and flower baskets hung on the railings directly outside the school gates where waste was being dumped.

Six months later, the fly-tipping has stopped, associated collection and disposal costs have been reduced, and the street scene enhanced.

Delivering Value
Working in partnership with our customers, we are committed to developing  innovative solutions that support our clients and maintain the environment we all share. By doing this we bring real benefit to the communities we serve and ensure our customers meet the austerity challenge and service standards.

Legislation Update
Veolia UK | Great Repeal Bill

Great Repeal Bill
The Government published a White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill and held a debate in Parliament the day after Article 50 was triggered.​

The Great Repeal Bill will transfer all existing European Union laws and European Court of Justice case law into UK law. The White Paper sets out the Government’s proposals for ensuring a functioning statute book once the UK has left the European Union and it provides details about:
  • The repeal of the European Communities Act 1972
  • How EU law will be converted into UK law
  • How corrections will be made to the statute book to ensure the law continues to function once we have left the EU
Circular Economy
At the European Parliament's plenary vote in March on the EU Circular Economy Package, the Parliament voted for higher headline recycling targets and also for a cap on the disposal of municipal waste. They also agreed a more stringent definition of recycling and the removal of the technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) exemption for waste collections. The next stage will be trilogue negotiations (between the Parliament, the Commission, and the Council of Member States) which will determine the final Package; this will take place later this year.

Industrial Strategy and Defra 25 Year Plan
Although the Industrial Strategy makes no particular mention of the circular economy, we believe it is key to its success and has an obvious link to the yet-to-be published Defra 25 Year Plan. The circular economy has an important role in the success of UK plc by providing enhanced resource efficiency, as well as jobs and economic growth across many sectors.

Landfill Tax
Landfill tax is set to rise again this year and HMRC has confirmed the rates for the next two tax years.
Waste sent to landfill Rate from 1st April 2017 Rate from 1st April 2018
Standard rated £86.10/tonne £88.95/tonne
Lower rated £2.70/tonne £2.80/tonne

HMRC is also currently consulting on proposals to apply landfill tax to illegal disposals, to bring the English and Northern Irish landfill tax regimes into line with that already in place in Scotland, and on proposals set out for a separate landfill tax in Wales, which should come into from April 2018.

Sector Strategies
The Environment Agency has recently published a number of sector strategies covering the period 2016 to 2020. They provide a sector overview, including compliance and performance information as well as Environment Agency objectives for regulating the sector.

The strategies themselves look uncontroversial, indicating that the Agency will continue largely as it does now. For example, it will target operators with a history of serious non-compliance, helping them to understand the root causes of problems and take steps to tackle them.

Stronger enforcement of existing waste regulations will see the Environment Agency being given tougher powers during 2017, including the power to restrict access to illegal waste sites to prevent waste being delivered.

Hazardous Waste - Ecotoxicity
Waste is generally considered hazardous if it (or the material or substances it contains) are harmful to humans or the environment. Upcoming amendments to hazardous waste-related regulations include the ecotoxicity regulations, which may mean that more materials are classified as hazardous wastes due to their ability to affect ecosystems.

We will review all potential material changes and ensure customers are kept informed of any need to change the way we manage certain waste streams, though these are likely to be few and far between.