Venue: Via Microsoft Teams
Appointment of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson
Agreed that Councillor M.Harvey be appointed Chairperson and that Councillor R.W.Wood be appointed Vice Chairperson for this joint meeting.
Materials Recovery and Energy Centre (MREC) - Crymlyn Burrows (Enclosed within Cabinet Papers)
The Chair explained at the start of the meeting that the Materials Recovery and Energy Centre (MREC) report was published in open session enabling the scrutiny committee to discuss the report in public.
Clarity was sought on the use of the incinerator. It was clarified that the Incinerator was not in use and would be decommissioned and removed as part of the proposals detailed within the circulated report.
It was noted that the plants are heavily regulated and are controlled from every aspect, particularly the emissions to ensure there is minimum impact on the environment.
Discussion took place around whether landfill would be considered as the MREC would not be incinerating its own residual waste. It was noted that as there are strategy requirements for limiting the amount of biodegradable waste for landfill, and recycled incinerator bottom ash counts towards the Council’s recycling performance, so landfill would be considered as a general solution.
Members discussed whether the business plan would include a clear auditing of the destinations and disposal methods of the waste. It was noted that information on material destinations had to be entered in to the National Waste Data Flow System audited by National Resources Wales for welsh government. Also, as the current contracts for recyclates are retendered under council procedures there will be closer scrutiny.
Members noted that the next review of the waste strategy would be in 2022. There had recently been a presentation and update on the Waste Strategy which had been taken to the Streetscene and Engineering Scrutiny Committee, which followed the previous All Members Seminars. The previous changes that were made would require further embedding prior to consideration of another review. Furthermore, it was highlighted that Welsh Government were also consulting on a wider circular economy strategy as an update to the national strategy which would need to be completed before there is consideration on a Local Strategy.
It was noted that new sorting equipment had been proposed and was considered in the costings within the circulated report. This is in line with the direction of travel that Welsh Government are heading to ensure a target of no waste by 2050.
Members asked whether there would be any financial implications with these proposals, due to the recent Covid-29 pandemic. Officers explained the financials to cover the cost of the £5.5m which is detailed within the circulated report. The MREC was working as normal.
The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering commended officers for their work.
Following scrutiny, the committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by cabinet.