Council Waste Contract & Incinerator
Labour wants to see a radical change in our waste management with contracts brought back in-house and the Incinerator phased down as soon as possible. Below is how we would seek to achieve that.
Waste Collection and Recycling
- We want to conduct a public enquiry into the waste collection contract with Veolia and properly consult residents as to what waste collection services they prefer. We will use contract compliance and break clauses to force rapid change and that will include the option of ending the contract in the same way as we would consider for the incinerator contract.
- We would set a target of 65% recycling after consultation with residents and develop more education and practical support for residents on how to recycle, especially those in flats. We also want to see more reuse and upcyling and support local voluntary groups promoting that
- We want to see an increase in street cleaning frequency in key areas. We will expand area teams to cover most environmental services in the coming years. We will also make current contracted street cleaning staff permanent thus creating proper jobs
- We would abolish the charge for Bulky Household waste service for the disabled, elderly and unwaged as part of a move to making it fully free of charge and ensure collection is within three working days.
- We would work with retailers to move to becoming a “no plastic bag” borough
- We want to see the Council work with other local authorities to challenge landfill taxation rules which create perverse incentives to dispose of waste in non-environmental ways
Labour believes a truly green council would never support the building of an incinerator that will be a potential health risk; particularly one so close to residential areas. Labour supports the establishment of a Sustainability Task Force to deal with the complexities around the use, safety and monitoring of the Beddington Incinerator, air pollution levels, dramatic falls in recycling and waste management contractual matters as well as considering new challenges such as fracking and the threat of increased flooding in some areas.
We have developed a policy to allow residents to “take back control” of the Sutton Incinerator. We would instead seek to create more ‘green jobs in the borough. Our five-point incinerator plan would be:
1. Monitoring and enforcement
- Air monitoring increased
- Council staff recruited to fully inspect Incinerator on a weekly basis
- CCTV cameras erected on Council land to film emissions
- All enforcement to be publicly reported
2. Citizen benefit from site whilst it exists
- Changes made to CSR money to Council – all spending decisions to go to a Citizens Panel of Beddington North residents drawn by lot for 1-year terms
- Conduct an initial public inquiry to review Sutton’s contractual relationships with Incinerator company Viridor examining air quality and reviewing enforcement and fines as well as break clauses.
- Negotiate deal for ending the contract
4. Relations with other Councils
- Once withdrawal from contract is agreed, discuss with other Council’s in SLWP partnership how they want to deal with issue
- Council will reserve right to fully withdraw from SLWP if needed as part of its “take back control” agenda
- Whatever the result of the referendum, negotiations will continue with the other boroughs to develop a healthier relationship in future that does not depend on incineration
5. Resident Decision
- Proposal to residents is explained and promoted over a 6 month decision period
- Referendum of local residents to approve one off rise on Council tax to pay off incinerator contract perhaps combined with a St Helier Hospital site protection referendum