Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton
Minerals and Waste
6.19 The best way to reduce the need for waste disposal is to avoid its creation. However, waste avoidance or minimisation is a matter over which the Councils have little direct influence, although they have an important role to play through encouragement, education and leadership by example. The Councils believes that a significant quantity of the waste arising in Hampshire which is currently disposed of (by landfilling) could be recycled or processed to recover resources. In this way the resource potential of waste would be realised and the need for disposal reduced.
6.20 It is thought that large amounts of construction and demolition waste are already recycled, mainly at demolition sites but also by processing through concrete crushers and soil screeners at waste transfer and landfill sites, although information on the quantities involved is incomplete. However, there are even greater amounts currently disposed of by landfilling and landraising, particularly concrete, brick rubble and soils, much of which could be recycled. Recycling of this material would not only reduce the need for disposal but would produce aggregate materials for use in place of extracted material. A significant amount of other industrial waste is already recycled by producers and the waste disposal industry. It is expected that recycling will grow as the resource value of waste is increasingly recognised.
6.21 A great deal of attention is focused on the recycling of household waste. During the period April 1994 to March 1995, approximately 55,000 tonnes of household waste were recycled in Hampshire. Whilst this was only about seven per cent of total arisings, it was better than the national average of five per cent. Historically recycling of household waste has been carried out in the County through the County and City Council recycling centres, District and City Council recycling systems (principally local bottle, can, paper and clothing banks) and metal recovery at Chineham Incinerator. It is estimated that, using such methods, the very best that could be achieved is a recycling level of 15 per cent.
6.22 However, the Government has set a challenging national target of 25 per cent of household waste being recycled or composted by the year 2000. This is equivalent to half of that proportion of household waste which is considered potentially recyclable. The County, City and District Councils believe that to achieve this higher level will require a fundamental change in the way waste is collected, which will need the participation of the public. This involves recyclable materials being separated by householders in the home and then separately collected, with overall recycling levels in the order of 20-25 per cent being achieved. However, these systems are more expensive to set up and operate, and require different types of collection bins and vehicles, more staff, and more places to store and transfer separated materials. Separation plants, known as materials recovery facilities, are also required to process the collected materials. Nevertheless, the Councils believe that the recycling of waste is generally preferable to its disposal or processing to recover resources and, therefore, that the strongest effort should be made to maximise recycling in Hampshire. However, it is important to ensure that recycling schemes do not involve the use of more resources than are being saved through recycling. In particular, the use of energy in transporting materials must be taken into account.
6.23 DoE Waste Management Paper No. 28 - 'Recycling' (1991) provides guidance to local authorities on recycling. The District and City Councils, as waste collection authorities, have each produced a Recycling Plan, as required by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Recycling plans are statements of the arrangements made and proposed to be made by the waste collection authority and others for dealing with waste for the purpose of recycling it. They should include information on the kinds and quantities of controlled wastes which the authority expects to collect and which it expects to recycle, and explain the arrangements the authority expects to make with waste disposal contractors. They must also include the estimated costs or savings attributable to the methods of recycling detailed in the plan. The County and District Councils are working together to implement a strategy for recycling which will link collection systems with storage and processing facilities. Recycling forms an essential part of the integrated strategy for household waste management approved by the County Council in May 1994. The County, City and District Councils are aiming to achieve a reduction of at least 25 per cent in the amount of waste requiring disposal by the year 2000. This will be achieved primarily by recycling supported by composting and waste minimisation initiatives. It is believed that in the longer term, and taking composting into account, it could be possible to achieve a 40 per cent reduction level.
6.24 Household collections of recyclable waste materials have been introduced in many parts of Hampshire and by the end of 1997 some 200,000 homes were covered by collections. The household collections are supported by materials recovery facilities at Farnborough, Portsmouth and Otterbourne (near Winchester). Recycling of household waste in Hampshire increased to 68,000 tonnes (10.1%) in 1995/96 and 107,000 tonnes (15.1%) in 1996/97.
6.25 In line with SERPLAN waste planning advice RPC 2700, the County Council believes that it should be possible for a reduction level of 25 per cent to be achieved for household, construction and demolition, commercial and industrial wastes. This reduction target incorporates waste minimisation, re-use and recycling. The Plan therefore assumes that a 25 per cent reduction of all waste (Categories A, B and C) will be achieved by 2000, although Government action to encourage and promote waste minimisation and recycling is likely to be needed to ensure this target is met, for example through the introduction of a landfill levy and incentives for the packaging industry to set recovery targets for packaging waste. However, any increase in waste minimisation and recycling will, at least in part, be offset by the expected increase in arisings of waste, mainly reflecting population growth. Notwithstanding increasing levels of waste reduction, the great majority of the waste arising in Hampshire over the Plan period will require disposal, either in its raw state or following some form of processing involving resource recovery and volume reduction.