Waste Partnership – Croydon website lets public down again

South London Waste Partnership meeting

Tuesday 17 February. 5.30pm. Croydon Town Hall

If you go to the Croydon Council website and click through the sequence on Council and Democracy you will come to the calender of meetings. This Tuesday sees the meeting of the South London Waste Partnership, The website tells us that this is being held at Merton Civic Centre. There is no link to the Merton website to enable members of the public to see the agenda. If you go to the Merton website and look at its calender you will see that the meeting is actually being held at Croydon Town Hall at 5.30pm.

It is thanks to Inside Croydon that we know about the switch, although the posting does not provide the link to the Merton website either. http://insidecroydon.com/2015/02/14/video-power-of-protest-sees-public-questions-on-agenda

You can see the agenda papers at http://democracy.merton.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=166&MId=2123

The Agenda

Apart from confirmation of the minutes of the December meeting the agenda comprises

  • Public Questions (10 minutes)
  • Phase A Contract management report
  • Budget up-date
  • Phase B update – Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) Disposal Contract (from which the public and press will be excluded)
  • Household Reuse and Recycling Centres Procurement – Preferred Bidder Recommendation Report (ditto)
  • Risk Register (ditto)

On the surface the minutes tell us very little, except that an unnamed  member requested that a future meeting of the Committee discuss health and safety matters relating to incinerators elsewhere in the UK, including the one at Runcorn. ‘Following discussion it was RESOLVED: That the health and safety matters relating to incinerators elsewhere in the UK be an agenda item for a future meeting of the Committee.‘ It the request was by Croydon’s Stuart Collins or Stuart King then they should insist that their name is recorded.

If you look at the minutes of the June and September meetings you will get no sense that Croydon’s representatives are using the meetings to keep up the anti-incinerator argument or pressure for improved monitoring. What the public reports being considered tell us is about the operation of waste management.

Transport and Residual waste management

From  April to December the Partnership managed 177,927 tonnes of residual waste. Viridor diverted 17% of this to its Lakeside energy from waste facility (EFW) at the Partnership’s request. ‘Residual waste diversion from landfill has increased and we continue to work with Viridor to improve this rate further.’

Management of the Household Reuse and Recycling Centres

This was brought in house from Kingston’s management. ‘The new structure provides for improved managerial and supervisory cover which in turn aims to strengthen the operations at site level. It also provides clear roles and responsibilities for all staff, and ensures there is a consistent pay structure. These changes are designed to deliver an improved standard of customer service, compliance, and recycling performance.’

There are still a number of issues being dealt with by RBK, especially ‘significant disciplinary issues’.

  • 36 staff (out of 96 operational personnel) have been through some form of disciplinary process, with 14 dismissals, one long term sickness case that resulted in a settlement, 3 final written warnings, 17 improvement notices, and one resignation.
  • 8 outcomes are pending either while investigations are completed, or hearings are undertaken.
  • Some individuals have been subject to more than one disciplinary process, resulting in a total of 50 disciplinary cases being dealt with.
  • ‘The disciplinary issues have affected performance at selected sites, and it is thought to have contributed to the reduced performance seen at Factory Lane during May, June and July of this year. Of the 50 disciplinary cases, 17 were undertaken with staff employed at Factory Lane. six of those procedures have resulted in dismissals, one in a final written warning and 6 in an improvement notice. Two further gross misconduct cases involving Factory Lane staff are under investigation.’

Materials Recycling Services, composting, and Additional treatment Services

Green and food waste are delivered to the Viridor Beddington facility and some to Viridor Foxhill. The food waste is then transferred by Viridor to the Agrivert Trump Farm Anaerobic Digestion facility (AD) in Surrey, which produces a compost product.

Comingled recyclates are delivered to the Viridor Beddington facility and then transferred to the Viridor Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Crayford.

‘The recycling rate for the comingled material has dropped from a year to date average of 95% at the end of quarter 2 to a year to date average of 92% at the end of quarter.’

All forms of recycling have dropped from 78% as at 31 March 2009 to 65% as at 31 March 2014 and risen to 67% in December 2014.

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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