Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To review and seek the Cabinet Member’s
approval to several charges made to the Waste Collection
a) Commercial waste disposal recharge rate for 2023-24.
b) Abandoned vehicle rate for 2023-24 in accordance with the Agency Agreement.
c) Recycling credit rate for 2023-24.
d) Excess mileage payment for 2023-24
e) Charge rates used for landfill monitoring services to external
f) That the same principle for calculation of the above sums is used for the 2024-25 figures and a further report is presented to the Cabinet Member in 2025.
The Cabinet Member:
a) Approved charges and payments made to the Waste Collection Authorities for:
i. Commercial waste disposal recharge rate for 2023-24.
ii. Abandoned vehicle rate for 2023-24 in accordance with the Agency Agreement.
iii. Recycling credit rate for 2023-24 (payment).
iv. Excess mileage payment for 2023-24 (payment).
v. Charge rates used for landfill monitoring services to external clients.
b) Approved the application of the principles detailed above to the calculation of charges for 2024-25.
c) Note that a further report will be presented to the Cabinet Member in 2025-26.
WCAs have a legal obligation under the Environment Protection Act 1990 to make arrangements for the collection of commercial waste from commercial properties when requested. The WDA has a legal obligation to manage Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW) waste presented by the WCA. The WDA has a legal obligation to finance household waste disposal, not commercial waste, therefore, a charge is applied.
The WCAs have a legal obligation under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 to collect abandoned vehicles, with the payment in accordance with Agency Agreement. This agreement enables the WCAs to provide all aspects of inspection, collection and disposal of abandoned vehicles and to share appropriate costs with the County Council.
The WDA has a legal obligation under the Environment Protection Act 1990 to make payment to WCAs for the household waste they retain and recycle. The quantum of the charge including annual indexation is set out in the act.
The WDA has a legal obligation under the Environment Protection Act 1990 to make a reasonable contribution to WCAs for expenditure reasonably incurred in delivering waste to the designated delivery point.
The County Council provides closed landfill monitoring services under contract to a small number of external parties. Charges have been reviewed in 2022 and the hours budgeted for the tasks have been benchmarked. The proposed prices are consistent with corporate labour recharge principles and have been benchmarked against market prices.
Do nothing (Maintain current charges): The value of recycling credits and the annual indexation to be applied is set out in legislation and therefore cannot be maintained at current levels.
The approach to indexing inter-authority charges for commercial waste, abandoned vehicles and excess mileage is well established however the Council is not bound to apply an indexation uplift. However, maintaining current charges would result in the Council not covering handling and disposal costs. Whilst this would be in part offset by lower costs on payments to the WCAs the combined effect would be a £0.116m budget pressure for the Council.
Furthermore, changing the arrangement would break an established calculation principle set between WCAs and the WDA and potentially cause both reputational and financial risks and is not recommended.
The proposed price uplifts for the provision of landfill aftercare services have been set corporately and therefore not increasing them would be inconsistent with recharge policy across the Council.
Application of alternative indexation levels: For inter-authority charges (excluding recycling credits) the Council may seek to adopt alternative indexation or price uplift mechanisms. Should the Council consider reducing or increasing the charges, for illustrative purposes any additional increase or decrease in charges would equate to £0.020m per percentage point.
WCAs are responsible for recovering the cost of collection and disposal of commercial waste from their customers and will ordinarily apply inflationary price uplifts on an annual basis. Seeking a greater than inflation uplift in the charge applied to the WCAs would create significant additional financial pressure on the WCAs at a time when resources are already under considerable strain. Equally, adopting a below inflation uplift would create an unfunded budget pressure within the County Council’s budget.
Adopting an alternative uplift mechanism would adversely impact either the WDA or WCA revenue budgets and is not recommended.
Review all established calculation principles: Anticipated changes in the Environment Act 2021 will require Local Government organisations to review charges (including those herewith) in the next 3-4 years, at which point Officers will carry out an options appraisal review for ongoing charges. Reviewing charges currently would incur both reputational and financial risk and is not recommended at this stage.
Publication date: 11/09/2023
Date of decision: 11/09/2023
Effective from: 19/09/2023