The Joint Waste Strategy is driven by the need to divert waste, particularly biodegradable waste, from landfill sites. Councils who fail to meet government targets for reducing waste to landfill could see penalties of up to £12.7 million in 10 years.  It offers a package of waste management solutions for the West of England area, including maximising recycling and reuse, promoting waste minimisation and proposing how the remaining ‘residual’ municipal waste that cannot be recycled should then be dealt with.  It suggests technologies and methods that could be implemented to sustainably manage the residual waste but does not identify sites or locations.

The Strategy can be read or downloaded from the West of England Partnership website.  Bath & North East Somerset have expressed a clear intention to work in the partnership within Phases 1 and 2, whilst continuing to develop our recycling and waste reduction processes to achieve the long term aim of Zero Waste.

Phase 1: Waste Minimisation and Recycling

All four councils will co-operate to develop a range of joint programmes to reduce waste, encourage re-use and increase recycling and composting.  Each of the councils will individually improve its local services and have committed to increase public participation in recycling and re-use initiatives.

Phase 2: Residual Waste Treatment

Together, all four councils have procured a treatment contract to divert mainly household rubbish (previously referred to as black bag waste).  Landfill tax set by the Government is set to increase by £8 per tonne every year until at least 2014, so we must divert as much waste from landfill as possible.

The New Earth Solutions site at Avonmouth has started receiving waste from 1 April.  Once the metals, glass and other recyclable items have been taken out, the rest of your rubbish (previously referred to as black bag waste) is processed at this mechanical biological treatment plant (MBT) to make a product which is like compost, but can’t be used on agricultural land (unlike the compost we make from your food waste). Instead, it is used as a soil conditioner to improve land on brownfield sites such as industrial land, making it suitable for future development. For more information on New Earth Solutions, please go to their website at http://www.newearthsolutions.co.uk/.

 Planning

The West of England Joint Waste Core Strategy (JWCS) has been adopted and came into effect on 25 March 2011. The JWCS is a Development Plan to set out the vision and objectives for sustainable waste management and sets the planning framework up to 2026 reflecting the waste hierarchy. It contains Development Management Policies and has superseded most of the Local Plan waste management policies. It also allocates two residual waste facility sites in the B&NES area; the Former Fuller's Earth Works in Bath and Broadmead Lane in Keynsham. Other sites have been allocated in the other Partnership authority area - Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.  Unlike the Joint Waste Strategy which is only concerned with residual municipal waste, the Development Plan is concerned with all waste including that generated by commerce, business and industry.

You can access all key documents from the West of England partnership website.

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