Agenda item


Report of Justin Lomax, Head of Contract Services, GMCA Waste and

Resources Team.



Justin Lomax, Head of Contract Services, Waste and Resources Team introduced a report which provided an overview of performance of the Waste and Resources Management Services (WRMS) and the Household Waste Recycling Centre Management Services (HWRCMS) Contracts, with updates on key issues currently affecting the waste management services during this period.


It was reported that the data used was undergoing final verification for the annual outturn for the financial year April 2020 to March 2021, which is up to the end of Quarter 4 of year 2, for the two Contracts held by Suez.


Highlights from the report included –


·       Current recycling rates were at 46.42% for 2021/21, an increase on the 2019/20 rate of 41.15%

·       A total rate of 98.5% of material had been diverted away from landfill disposal, a 5% increase on last year, equating to almost 55kt less with only 1.7kt being sent via this route.

·       Rejection levels at the Materials Recovery Facility from kerbside recycling remain at around 18% Although slightly lower than last year’s level the tonnage of collected loads rejected at the reception points remains very high, reaching over 7.4kt, with the majority of this coming from the mixed paper and card collection stream.

·       Since the last Committee report, there has been 1 further RIDDOR incident, for the period up to 31 March 21, bringing the total for the year to 5. The last incident, in January 2021, was a dangerous occurrence reported to the Health and Safety Executive due to a high-pressure steam leak at the Bolton Thermal Recovery Facility. This was detected following the restart of the turbine bypass station, during a routine inspection of the turbine hall. Appropriate action was taken, including the steam supply being isolated from the affected section of the system, the source of the leak being identified, and a repair being carried out, along with an upgrade to the control system, and a reviewed inspection and replacement plan.

·       The overall data shows that throughout the period of the pandemic, total annual Household Waste Recycling Centre visitor numbers have stayed below levels seen in the previous 2 years. With 5.4m visits during 2020/21 being 500k less visits than in the previous year. Final annual data is currently being verified but indicates that there was approaching 20% less material going through these sites than for last year (equating to over 50kt).

·       Van Permit Scheme: SUEZ is continuing to develop the system to administer and manage the usage of HWRC network by householders owning vans. The testing phase will ensure the process for the applicant is as straightforward as possible and that administration is streamlined and compliant with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation. It is anticipated that there will be a soft launch on sites during August 2021 with the hard launch commencing in September 2021.

·       Biowaste treatment capacity has been secured until 2026. Bids have been received through the procurement process for a number of smaller treatment packages, these have been evaluated and final stage of approvals are underway.

·       SUEZ introduced the segregation of carpets for recycling and sourced outlets whereby the material could be shredded and used on surfaces for equestrian training areas. At the end of 2020 the Environment Agency announced the withdrawal of the Low-Risk Waste Position, where carpet recycling was managed, this was due to come into force in mid-June 2021 but has been delayed for 12 months following the trade body Carpet Recycling UK, and others, lobbying the Environment Agency whilst evidence is gathered on potential plastics and POPs releases.

·       The GMCA and SUEZ have agreed to the addition of plasterboard skip collection points at suitable Household Waste Recycling Centres. The sites identified are Arkwright St, Bayley St, Chichester St, Springvale, Hurstwood Court, Salford Road, Bredbury, Adswood, Boysnope Wharf, Lumns Lane and Longley Lane.

·       Significant progress has been achieved to meet the construction programme between April and June at the Reliance StreetMechanical Treatment and Reception Facility, which following testing, will be capable of processing 130,000 tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste which equates to an approximate hourly amount of 50 tonnes per/hour.

·       Following extensive damage in September 2017 by a fire within the turbine hall building at Raikes Lane Thermal Recovery Facility, extensive refurbishments, repairs, and the installation and trial of the new turbine engine have been undertaken by Suez and completed in April 2021.

Members queried the types of items taken to landfill, it was noted that these are bulky items that are non-compactable or unable to be shredded.


In relation to the disposal of domestic kerbside recycling, Members requested confirmation of percentages rejected due to resident behaviour. Officers clarified that 18% of residential recycling is rejected due to contaminants


It was confirmed that Bredbury Recycling Facility, Stockport, is used to further clean up

contaminated paper and card to enable lower rejection rates.


It was clarified that residents who own vans and encounter issues with the new Van Permit Scheme should liaise directly with their districts recycling team. Trade services should continue to use the weighbridge site facilities.


Members asked where household carpet waste should be recycled. It was confirmed that they can continue to use household recycling facilities, where the majority of waste is recycled.


In relation to plasterboard waste, Members were informed that 1-2k tonnes per annum is shredded and reworked, details on this will be circulated to Members.


Officers confirmed that processes and procedures are in place, along with warranties and guarantees to minimise any down time at the Reliance StreetMechanical Treatment and Reception Facility and that tonnage figures have exceeded previous rates.


Members asked how metal is separated from the waste at the Reliance Street Facility, and what alert procedures are in place in case of battery fires. Officers reported that magnets separate, currently 4%, of metals at the facility and that a fully connected detection and sprinkler system has been installed.


It was confirmed that the shredder at the Reliance Street Facility is larger and therefore has a greater capacity than other sites and has a capacity to shred 50 tonnes per hour.




1.    That the report be noted.


2.    That further information in relation to plasterboard waste be circulated to Members.


3.    That the Construction presentation received at section 9 of the report be circulated to Members.


4.    That officers confirm the number of jobs created at the Reliance Street Mechanical Treatment and Reception Facility.


5.    That further updates on the Raikes Lane Thermal Recovery Facility be brought to future meetings.


Supporting documents: