Kirklees Council to vote on future waste and recycling plans in the district

Kirklees Council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday, December 14 to decide on new proposals that will see a radical transformation in how waste is collected, recycled and disposed of in Kirklees.

Saturday, 11th December 2021, 12:00 pm
Coun Naheed Mather (left) and Kirklees Council project manager Rachel Palmer (centre) help Moldgreen resident Costandia Demetriou load her items at one of the new reuse sites recently opened by the council

The Kirklees Resources and Waste Strategy was approved by full council on September 8. It sets out the future ambition of the council up to 2030.

The plan has six priorities that aim to help deliver the council’s vision of a clean, green, sustainable future for Kirklees with zero waste to landfill.

These priorities are: an approach to dealing with waste and recycling that is designed to work for specific communities; achieving a recycling rate of at least 70 per cent at household waste and recycling centres; recycling at least 55 per cent of municipal waste; reusing or recycling as much as possible; ensuring that the environment across the district is clean, green, and inviting; and leading by example across the council’s services.

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Ensuring Kirklees has modern, sustainable services is key to this vision. Part of this will be to increase recyclable materials collected at the kerbside and that a recycling service is available to all schools, businesses and charities within the borough.

With the district’s current contracts due to conclude in 2025, a strategic review of all options facing the council has been underway since 2020. The culmination of that is the outline business case (OBC) which is being put before the cabinet on December 14.

The OBC looked at three options open to the council:

To operate under a single integrated contract like the current one.

To break up the services into component parts and tender them as separate unit.

To operate most services as an integrated contract and deliver the household waste recycling centres and closed landfills in-house.

The recommendation being put forward to cabinet is for the council to adopt option three, as it would give greater flexibility to the council to enhance the standard and efficiency of the whole waste and recycling service.

A key positive of option three is that it would give the council more control over the public facing services, which would remove the limitations that currently exist.

It would also allow the council to better support local employment with opportunities in public facing roles, including apprenticeships.

Councillor Naheed Mather, cabinet member for environment, said: “We are really excited about our plans to transform our waste and recycling offer.

“Household waste and recycling is something that every single resident relies on and that’s why one of our key aims through our new strategy is to deliver the most efficient and reliable service to all local people.

"At the same time, we have a duty and an opportunity to make our waste and recycling offer one of the most forward-thinking and environmentally positive in the country.

“By taking the household waste recycling centres into our own control, and moving away from an external contract, we will have far more control to deliver our ambition and this will ultimately mean the ability to recycle a wider range of materials.

"This is something we know we need to do to help us reach our recycling rate target of 55 per cent, and something we know residents want based on our engagement.

“On top of that, we can offer our residents employment opportunities.

"Rather than being restricted to one provider, we will be able to open up our services to more waste management companies, which should deliver budget savings and greater range of greener ways of disposing of waste.

“Such is our commitment to improving our impact on the planet, this strategy is underpinned by our ambition to achieve zero waste to landfill, we will only achieve this if we work together to reduce, reuse, and recycle more.

“Education is one of the keys to the success of this strategy, which is why we plan to work with schools, colleges and universities, as well as residents and businesses to minimise waste.

“An example of one initiative we’ve already launched is our 'reuse your rubbish' service – an innovative way of cutting out unnecessary waste.”

If cabinet gives the seal of approval at the meeting, the next stage will be the procurement phase, with the first procurements being made in Autumn 2022.

The executive will then bring a full business case with preferred bidder(s) to cabinet for approval in Spring 2024 with new contract arrangements in place for April 1, 2025.