To receive an update on the recycling performance and flytipping issues.
Jon Sharkey, Head of Public Realm Services, provided an update on current recycling performance and flytipping issues, including how it was measured and monitored. The following points were highlighted:
1. The Borough would be producing a new Reduction and Recycling Plan (RRP) in July 2022.
2. The main focus was to improve the amount of tonnage and reduce contamination. Contamination began to increase from April 2020, however was gradually reducing thank to the outreach programme.
3. There had been trials to improve issues in flats, such as ReLondon, which had shown some significant improvements.
4. Currently in parks there were only litter bins, however trials of recycling bins would be taking place in four parks.
5. Flytipping levels appeared to be back to those pre-pandemic.
6. Sue McDaid, Head of Reg Services & Corporate H&S, gave details of the communications campaign, including working with schools and additional resources.
In response, the following comments were received from panel members:
1. Cllr Erbil asked if there was any feedback around environmental enforcement officers and would welcome some data. Sue McDaid would provide this ACTION. Several fixed penalties had been issued in Upper Edmonton and it was believed the message was getting through.
2. Cllr Thorp asked about education around contamination and suggested having more measurable data looking at the difference areas. Jon Sharkey would provide this ACTION.
3. In relation to education Cllr Jewell advised that he and Cllr Barnes would be visiting Chicken Shed. Many schools had also signed up and young people were very engaged. Cllr Thorp felt that uniformed youth organisations should be involved; this would be captured going forward.
4. It was noted that the flytipping data was just from reports on the website and did not include MEQs, trucks that collect waste or bags by bins. Officers would take this away and review ACTION.
5. Cllr Thorp stated that Bexley had recycling rates of 50% therefore queried why Enfield remained around 30%. Officers did not have details around this but would look into it ACTION.
6. Officers were not happy with the current performance but noted the pandemic had caused issues leading to lost momentum and bad habits. Doug Wilkinson, Director of Environment & Operational Services, highlighted that Enfield was performing well in relation to other North London boroughs.
7. Cllr Jewell emphasised that this was a national issue however officers were aware of the areas to focus on.
8. Cllr Guzel advised that she goes direct to officers with issues and asked if data could be gathered on issues reported and rubbish then collected. Officers to check ACTION.
9. Cllr Guzel highlighted the issues with trying to work with managing agents on private estates. Officers were aware of the issues and there would be an annual review of contracts.
10. It was questioned if FPNs could be given for wheelie bins and officers advised that the threat of the FPN seemed to be enough. Enforcement action was reduced during the pandemic however was gradually being reintroduced.
11. Cllr Anderson queried the recycling performance data as there was an increase in performance however contamination had also increased. Jon acknowledged this and would review the data ACTION.
12. Cllr Anderson asked if efforts were being put in the right area when it comes to flats. Officers recognised the issues and boroughs across London had the same issues. ReLondon were doing pilot projects and closer work with council colleagues in Housing was taking place. Cllr Jewell added that he was working with Cllr Needs to look at this.
It was noted that budgets could cause delays; Doug advised that a plan was being developed and funding options investigated which would lead to a more coherent and structured way forward.
13. The targets imposed by the Mayor of London were very high however officers welcome aspirational targets.
14. Cllr Smith raised concerns about flats in relation to adequate facilities, housing associations and private, particularly around the cost and time needed to make improvements. Jon would share additional information around this ACTION.
15. Cllr Gunawardena would like to understand the contamination linked to only the bi-weekly collections however Jon stated that unfortunately this cannot be clearly separated from the impact of the pandemic.
16. Cllr Aksanoglu asked for clarification on recycling in parks. Officers advised that the pilots were in Pymmes, Trent, Albany and Bush Hill Park.
17. Members agreed that the environmental enforcement officers were a good team and dealt with issues quicker than the MEQ system.
18. Cllr Jewell stated he was happy to be copied into MEQs, particularly around flytipping.