Community Liaison Group Minutes

Community Liaison Group Meeting on 8 December 2021

The meeting was held via Zoom

Apologies were received. Written updates from Renewi, BDR, the CELO and Stratiji had been circulated beforehand. Brief summaries and further updates were given verbally at the meeting and CLG members had the opportunity to ask questions.

1. Welcome and introductions.

The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. Attendance was thin and he said he appreciated it might be a difficult time of year for people. He suggested keeping this meeting short and bringing forward the next meeting from March to January or February.

2. Notes from the last ‘virtual’ meeting on 8 September.

These were agreed as a true record.

3. Issues arising.

The only outstanding issue was lack of elected member representation on the CLG (with the exception of Barnsley) which a CLG member had raised.

Action: The chair to progress this further before the next meeting..

4. Renewi BDR Ltd update.

The Renewi BDR Contract Director summarised and updated his written report. Following a spike of Covid cases towards the end of September, there was now only one member of staff currently off work. Completed repair work at Barnsley waste transfer station had been inspected by the Environment Agency. It was given a clean bill of health and they were impressed by the technology installed. Fly control measures had been completed and were working. There was a slight increase in the number of internal flies, but the number of external complaints since the last meeting was very low. One complaint received was from a local business. The new owners of Ferrybridge Energy From Waste had changed the management structure, appointing a different management team for each facility. A shutdown was planned in January which would have an impact on Manvers as input tonnages at Ferrybridge will be reduced for a three-week period. In response to questions from a CLG member, he said contingency plans were in place to deal with the shutdown, and the management re-structure was not expected to adversely affect Manvers.

5. BDR update.

The BDR joint manager summarised and updated his written report. The effects of Covid on waste staff were being managed with regular testing and a campaign to encourage vaccine take-up. This had enabled the three authorities to maintain their waste services, but with growing infection rates generally this would need to be reviewed regularly. The pandemic meant that high levels of waste had been collected and disposed of, and he praised the Renewi team for their hard work ensuring that the plant kept running. Barnsley Council had started collecting pots and trays in their recycling from this week, a welcome move for Barnsley residents. Cllr Lamb explained that this extension to the service had been requested by residents and was being publicised through a communication campaign including stickers on brown bins. HWRCs were operating normally on Winter opening hours. The Government was expected to publish its responses to the Resource and Waste strategy consultation next year. It is expected to include a requirement for separate waste food collections, but there may be a transition agreement for councils who have an MBT plant like the one at the Manvers facility where the process means waste food does not go to landfill. This should be known in the New Year.

6. CELO update.

The assistant CELO summarised and updated the report and gave some response figures for social media linked to the Re-use Revolution campaign. Including Recycle Week and Love Your Clothes. The first half of the Love Your Clothes Facebook and Twitter posts had received more than 190,000 impressions and this was expected to increase in 2022 when the second part of the campaign was launched. Bookings had started to be taken for education workshops, although these were still being delivered remotely for the time being. The Rubbish Adventure workshop had been modified to make it easier to clean between sessions and resources for schools were available on the BDR website.

7. Communications update.

Stratiji summarised and updated the written report, outlining press releases issued to local and regional print and broadcast media to support the pro-active Re-use Revolution campaign. These included Recycle Week, Love Your Clothes Hate Waste and re-using beauty products. A press release had also been issued aimed at recruiting more members to join the CLG. A factsheet had been prepared for BBC Radio Sheffield in advance of their visit to the site as part of their broadcast coverage in the run-up to COP26. A Christmas press release just issued gave helpful tips on how to have a less wasteful Christmas and pointed people to their local authority to check on any bin and recycling changes over Christmas. Work was now beginning on publicity for the launch of the 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Fund.

8. Any other business.

The chair mentioned that new fly prevention methods in operation at the facility were working well, with numbers massively down and he praised the hard work done to achieve this. He hoped that new members would be attending the next meeting. A CLG member suggested a small tax on takeaways and a deposit scheme for cans and bottles in order to cut down waste and litter. He also felt the increased 10p charge for carrier bags should be put into a pot to help climate change. The chair responded that some kind of deposit and return scheme could be incorporated in the new Waste and Resource Strategy. He suggested these issues should be a standing item on future BDR reports.

9. Date and time of next meeting.

It was agreed this should be brought forward to January or early February.

Action: Stratiji to sort out a provisional date and circulat