Waste and Recycling Centre Consultation

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Why are we undertaking this consultation?

Over the last few years Pembrokeshire has made significant changes to the Waste and Recycling Services provided to Pembrokeshire residents, through the introduction of schemes such as Kerbside Sort Recycling and AHP/ Nappy recycling. This has resulted in Pembrokeshire becoming one of the top recyclers within Wales and the UK as a whole – an incredible achievement.

However, during this time, we have also seen increasing pressures from a financial perspective and the Waste and Recycling Service is required to make significant efficiencies/cost reductions to ensure statutory elements of the service can continue to operate within the level of funding available.

What are the current arrangements?

Pembrokeshire currently operates six Waste and Recycling Centres (WRC’s) across the County – Crane Cross, Hermon, Manorowen, St David’s, Waterloo and Winsel, one of the highest levels of provision in Wales. Carmarthenshire by comparison, which has a larger geographical area and larger population, has four such facilities. There is no statutory definition surrounding the number of facilities needed and the requirement is for such sites to be ‘reasonably accessible to persons resident in the area’. The WRC’s in Pembrokeshire are open 7 days a week in the summer and 5 days a week over the winter, including bank holidays.

A booking system has been in place since May 2020, to ensure WRC’s could operate in line with COVID-19 legislation including social distancing and Track and Trace. The booking system and associated policies and procedures have seen additional benefits including improvements to the traffic management and accessibility associated with the WRC’s; improvements to health and safety on site, and large queues are no longer experienced by users as booking are equally spread across the day. We have also seen a reduction in cross border waste and a reduction of abuse of the facilities by those seeking to pass off commercial waste as domestic to avoid disposal costs. A review of fly tipping across the county has also been undertaken; this has shown that there has been a reduction in the annual levels of official fly tipping incidents since the introduction of the booking system. (2019/20 868 incidents, 2020/21 740 incidents).

More information about the booking system and associated policies can be found at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/waste-bookings

Why do current arrangements need to change?

Against a background of ongoing changes to recycling legislation from Welsh Government and increasing financial pressures, it is timely to undertake a review of the WRC’s, to analyse their function and financing to determine their optimal role in the future of Pembrokeshire.

The introduction of the booking system has allowed us to accurately record the usage for the six WRC’s for the past 12 months. We have identified low usage numbers at certain times for a number of facilities. The review of bookings for the sites has shown that some sites have less than 30% of slots booked. The graph to the right shows the percentage of slots booked during summer and winter opening hours across all sites (this does not take into account those slots which people did not attend and did not cancel in advance). We are of the view that WRC provision should reflect the demand across Pembrokeshire to provide an efficient service and value for public money.

Based on a review of booking information, since May 2020, and taking into account the current limited number of time-slots (due to the requirements of Covid-19 regulations) it can be seen that demand at three of the WRC’s is less than half of the available capacity provided for Pembrokeshire residents and businesses. Therefore, site operating and opening arrangements could be amended to provide cost reductions whilst retaining the six sites across the Pembrokeshire with suitable arrangements to meet demand for these facilities.

The current operating costs for the WRC’s are over £1.3 million per annum, this cost is not sustainable given the policy and financial challenges faced by the local authority sector, and in the context of usage data, increased demands on other services, and the requirement for maximised efficiency.

Changes have also occurred in relation to environmental permits required to operate the site from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) through the introduction procedures such as Fire Prevention and Mitigation Plans. In light of this a review of the sites in Pembrokeshire has been undertaken – in order for the site to remain compliant it is estimated that approx. £250,000k of capital infrastructure costs are required across five Waste and Recycling Centres (excluding Winsel as the requirements around this site have been included in a separate project).

What are we seeking your views on?

This consultation seeks your views on the WRC’s to help steer future changes to ensure PCC continues to provide a service which balances the needs of the public as far as practicable, the required statutory level of service provision and the budgetary constraints that the service needs to operate within.

There are two options with regards to achieving this:

Option 1: Reduce the number of sites operated by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Option 2: To rationalise the opening hours of all WRC’s based on data associated with WRC usage across the County, this could include changes to opening days/ hours at WRC’s.

One other area we are seeking your views is the operating procedures at WRC’s including;

  • The retention of the booking system introduced as a result of COVID 19 legislation in May 2020
  • The range of materials collected at WRC’s across Pembrokeshire, i.e. do all sites need to accept all materials or should some just focus on recycling and reuse options
  • Range of materials which incur charges

Level of savings achievable will be dependent on the option approved. However to provide an indication of the savings available in respect of a small Waste and Recycling Centre: closure could provide a £45k saving per annum in operating costs, where as to reduce the opening hours by two days per week could provide a cost reduction of approximately £10k per annum.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this consultation, this consultation will be used to gather public opinion, which will be used to inform any decisions made in regards to the Waste and Recycling Centres.

Your Views

You can give your views by complete the online response form below.

You'll be asked to register on our engagement, consultation and customer feedback site. You'll be asked a series of monitoring questions. You are not required to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to. However, providing this information will help us to assess how successful we are being in engaging with different sections of the population. This, in turn, will help us to better meet the needs of the local community. You can find out more about the questions we ask on our website here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/equalities/why-do-we-ask-equality-and-welsh-language-questions

You can find out more about how we manage and protect the information you provide in our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Once you’re registered you can then simply ‘Sign In’ to take part in any future engagement, consultation or customer feedback activities.

If you experience any difficulties in responding please email surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for assistance.

The closing date for responses is Monday 9th August 2021

Why are we undertaking this consultation?

Over the last few years Pembrokeshire has made significant changes to the Waste and Recycling Services provided to Pembrokeshire residents, through the introduction of schemes such as Kerbside Sort Recycling and AHP/ Nappy recycling. This has resulted in Pembrokeshire becoming one of the top recyclers within Wales and the UK as a whole – an incredible achievement.

However, during this time, we have also seen increasing pressures from a financial perspective and the Waste and Recycling Service is required to make significant efficiencies/cost reductions to ensure statutory elements of the service can continue to operate within the level of funding available.

What are the current arrangements?

Pembrokeshire currently operates six Waste and Recycling Centres (WRC’s) across the County – Crane Cross, Hermon, Manorowen, St David’s, Waterloo and Winsel, one of the highest levels of provision in Wales. Carmarthenshire by comparison, which has a larger geographical area and larger population, has four such facilities. There is no statutory definition surrounding the number of facilities needed and the requirement is for such sites to be ‘reasonably accessible to persons resident in the area’. The WRC’s in Pembrokeshire are open 7 days a week in the summer and 5 days a week over the winter, including bank holidays.

A booking system has been in place since May 2020, to ensure WRC’s could operate in line with COVID-19 legislation including social distancing and Track and Trace. The booking system and associated policies and procedures have seen additional benefits including improvements to the traffic management and accessibility associated with the WRC’s; improvements to health and safety on site, and large queues are no longer experienced by users as booking are equally spread across the day. We have also seen a reduction in cross border waste and a reduction of abuse of the facilities by those seeking to pass off commercial waste as domestic to avoid disposal costs. A review of fly tipping across the county has also been undertaken; this has shown that there has been a reduction in the annual levels of official fly tipping incidents since the introduction of the booking system. (2019/20 868 incidents, 2020/21 740 incidents).

More information about the booking system and associated policies can be found at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/waste-bookings

Why do current arrangements need to change?

Against a background of ongoing changes to recycling legislation from Welsh Government and increasing financial pressures, it is timely to undertake a review of the WRC’s, to analyse their function and financing to determine their optimal role in the future of Pembrokeshire.

The introduction of the booking system has allowed us to accurately record the usage for the six WRC’s for the past 12 months. We have identified low usage numbers at certain times for a number of facilities. The review of bookings for the sites has shown that some sites have less than 30% of slots booked. The graph to the right shows the percentage of slots booked during summer and winter opening hours across all sites (this does not take into account those slots which people did not attend and did not cancel in advance). We are of the view that WRC provision should reflect the demand across Pembrokeshire to provide an efficient service and value for public money.

Based on a review of booking information, since May 2020, and taking into account the current limited number of time-slots (due to the requirements of Covid-19 regulations) it can be seen that demand at three of the WRC’s is less than half of the available capacity provided for Pembrokeshire residents and businesses. Therefore, site operating and opening arrangements could be amended to provide cost reductions whilst retaining the six sites across the Pembrokeshire with suitable arrangements to meet demand for these facilities.

The current operating costs for the WRC’s are over £1.3 million per annum, this cost is not sustainable given the policy and financial challenges faced by the local authority sector, and in the context of usage data, increased demands on other services, and the requirement for maximised efficiency.

Changes have also occurred in relation to environmental permits required to operate the site from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) through the introduction procedures such as Fire Prevention and Mitigation Plans. In light of this a review of the sites in Pembrokeshire has been undertaken – in order for the site to remain compliant it is estimated that approx. £250,000k of capital infrastructure costs are required across five Waste and Recycling Centres (excluding Winsel as the requirements around this site have been included in a separate project).

What are we seeking your views on?

This consultation seeks your views on the WRC’s to help steer future changes to ensure PCC continues to provide a service which balances the needs of the public as far as practicable, the required statutory level of service provision and the budgetary constraints that the service needs to operate within.

There are two options with regards to achieving this:

Option 1: Reduce the number of sites operated by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Option 2: To rationalise the opening hours of all WRC’s based on data associated with WRC usage across the County, this could include changes to opening days/ hours at WRC’s.

One other area we are seeking your views is the operating procedures at WRC’s including;

  • The retention of the booking system introduced as a result of COVID 19 legislation in May 2020
  • The range of materials collected at WRC’s across Pembrokeshire, i.e. do all sites need to accept all materials or should some just focus on recycling and reuse options
  • Range of materials which incur charges

Level of savings achievable will be dependent on the option approved. However to provide an indication of the savings available in respect of a small Waste and Recycling Centre: closure could provide a £45k saving per annum in operating costs, where as to reduce the opening hours by two days per week could provide a cost reduction of approximately £10k per annum.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this consultation, this consultation will be used to gather public opinion, which will be used to inform any decisions made in regards to the Waste and Recycling Centres.

Your Views

You can give your views by complete the online response form below.

You'll be asked to register on our engagement, consultation and customer feedback site. You'll be asked a series of monitoring questions. You are not required to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to. However, providing this information will help us to assess how successful we are being in engaging with different sections of the population. This, in turn, will help us to better meet the needs of the local community. You can find out more about the questions we ask on our website here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/equalities/why-do-we-ask-equality-and-welsh-language-questions

You can find out more about how we manage and protect the information you provide in our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Once you’re registered you can then simply ‘Sign In’ to take part in any future engagement, consultation or customer feedback activities.

If you experience any difficulties in responding please email surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for assistance.

The closing date for responses is Monday 9th August 2021