Surrey Local Government Association Position Statement on the Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey
31 March 2004
The Surrey Local Government Association (SLGA) has today agreed a way forward in its joint approach to tackling waste in Surrey.
In the autumn of last year the Association carried out a wide ranging public consultation on its proposed joint waste strategy Towards an Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey, A Way Forward. Councils are now agreed that in developing the strategy they will adhere to a set of key principles which have emerged from the discussions on the consultation. These are set out in a position statement which the SLGA is today urging its member authorities to endorse.
These principles include:
• the vigorous promotion of the minimisation of waste;
• the commitment of efforts to achieve and exceed collective recycling standards;
• adherence to the waste hierarchy with an emphasis on reduction, re-use and recycling and the treatment of remaining waste to divert
• recognition of the need for smaller waste treatment facilities within our boundaries or by agreement with neighbouring authorities;
• partnership working to develop best practice.
Cllr Geoff Woodger, Chairman of the Association said today ‘As we said when we launched the consultation, with waste in Surrey reaching record levels, it is vital that we act together now to find the right way forward. We believe the principles we have set out here will enable us to amend and simplify the strategy taking full account of the views that were put to us. Then we shall keep the strategy as a living document able to respond to fast changing technologies and national and international legislation. But we have not gone for easy options. It will need strenuous efforts not only by councils but also by the people of Surrey to minimise our waste and meet our recycling targets.’
‘This is a vital step in the right direction’ added Cllr Christine Stevens, SLGA Vice Chairman. ‘We were encouraged that people were broadly in favour of our package of policies. Our consultation showed that people saw land fill very much as the last resort, and preferred waste treatment technologies other than mass-burn incineration. Surrey residents understood how important it is to work together to achieve our collective aims in waste minimisation, re-use and recycling, and to explore the scientific and economic viability of new technologies.”
The Surrey Local Government Association represents Surrey County Council and the eleven Borough and District Councils in Surrey. It is a forum in which authorities can work together to improve services to the people of Surrey and to act as a voice for Surrey to Government at the regional national and European levels.
Towards an Integrated Waste Management Strategy for Surrey, A Way Forward was published for consultation on 4 September 2003. The consultation ran until 28 November 2003. Comments were invited directly from stakeholders and from members of the public. A full document was published together with a summary leaflet which had a tear-off response slip.
The consultation set out a number of options for dealing with Surrey’s waste.
In total 1,415 replies were received. 46 of these were detailed; the remaining 1,369 were responses using the summary leaflet tear-off slip.
Of these 1,369 responses, 1106 were from the Guildford area and 1,088 of those preferred the ‘no incineration’ option.
Many expressed the view that efforts needed to be made to reduce packaging; that there should be more emphasis on re-use, in particular by supporting exchange schemes and community (voluntary sector) schemes; and that information and education should be strengthened to effect a cultural change in attitudes to waste.
The SLGA also commissioned a public opinion survey. The survey was undertaken by Questions Answered who conducted 1,000 face-to-face interviews across the whole of Surrey in December 2003. In summary the survey showed a high level of agreement with the outline policies; high levels of support for increased recycling (52% for options with 36% recycling and 32% for the option with 60% recycling); significant support for reduction of packaging and for the re-use / recycling of resources; landfill seen as the least acceptable method of dealing with residual waste; and strong preference for larger number of small facilities as opposed to a smaller number of large facilities.