Agenda and minutes

Joint Waste and Recycling Committee - Friday 8th January 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Julie Hollands 


No. Item



To authorise the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2020 as a correct record of the proceedings.


The Chairman was authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2020 at a later date as a correct record of the proceedings.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Simon Crook – Operations Director (Biffa), Roger Edwards – Municipal Managing Director (Biffa), Cameron Morley – Waste and Cleansing Manager (HBC), Averil Price – Director of Environment and Community Services (WDC), Karl Taylor – Assistant Director Operations and Contract Management (ESCC), Carl Valentine – Head of Transport and Operational Services (ESCC) and Robin Vennard – Assistant Director Resources (RDC).


Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.  Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.


There were no declarations of interest.


Biffa Update pdf icon PDF 790 KB

To receive a presentation from the Contractor on the Waste Collection, Recycling, Street and Beach Cleaning and Associated Services Contract.


The Senior Business Manager led Members through Biffa’s presentation which provided an update on the Waste Collection, Recycling, Street and Beach Cleaning and Associated Services Contract.  During the presentation the following points were noted:


·         Health and Safety: This was a primary focus for Biffa.  During the period October 2020 to November 2020, 629 near misses and hazards (concerns reported by employees), as well as four personal injuries were reported.  Out of 15,433 staff working days, the accident rate equated to 0.03%.  The following safety improvements had been applied (year to date): launched safer together initiative; increased CCTV monitoring; accident and vehicle accident investigations completed within six days; safety improvement meetings held; increased depot based trainer pool; revised driver induction process; continuous review of COVID-19 secure measures;  security devices installed in 13 collection vehicles; and promotion of relevant incidents to Operation Crackdown.

·         HR Update: As of November 2020, there were 12 (seven LGV drivers and five Loader/Operatives) full-time vacant positions.  Average staff turn-over from October to November 2020 was 1.5%, a decrease of 1% since the last meeting.

·         Since the last meeting, no amendments had been made to the Organisation Chart.

·         Overall collection and street cleansing performance had improved across the Partnership; monitoring would be ongoing.

·         High Speed Road Maintenance Programme (in consultation with the Highway Authority) had been established and was being successfully executed across the Partnership.

·         Container Deliveries: In October and November 98% and 85% respectively of container deliveries had been completed within the Service Level Agreement (100% in August and September); the results were attributed to a change of supplier and delivery issues.

·         COVID-19: Between October and November 2020, 89 working days had been lost as a result of absence relating to the Coronavirus which had caused an impact on service performance.  Remedial key actions included increased communication, personal protection equipment and cleansing regimes; improved signage; introduced COVID-19 Secure Officer; daily absence monitoring; and installation of Perspex screens.  It was noted that one employee had tested positive (contracted by co-habitant); the employee was required to self-isolate in-line with Close Contact protocol.  Members were advised that no employees had contracted COVID-19 through the Biffa workforce.

·         Culture Change – Investment: Depot improvements had commenced at Bellbrook.  COVID-19 secure inspections completed, and employee of the month nominations and awards issued.  Employee enrolment to the downloadable Biffa Group App, known as Biffa Beat was ongoing.  One member of the Management Team was currently on maternity leave; their role was being covered by a temporary appointment.

·         Contractual Updates: It was confirmed that actions had and were being commenced within the Annual Improvement Plan e.g. recycling stickers had been issued to residents and that investigations regarding alternative rubbish containment and management solutions at Camber Sands were still on-going etc.

·         2021 Preparing the Future: Biffa recognised future challenges faced by the Partnership and would be focusing on the following considerations namely the Environment Bill; 65% recycling target; separate weekly food waste collections; and national and local carbon footprint commitments.


At the conclusion of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item JWRC20/24.


Service Performance Update pdf icon PDF 130 KB


Members considered the report of the Lead Director which provided analysis and commentary on the standards of service performance achieved through the Joint Waste Contract for the period June to November 2020.


The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) had been assessed and clarified during 2020.  Throughout 2020, the Council had considered Biffa’s KPI performance against their own monthly council data (number of customer complaints, number of waste related customer service calls etc.) and it was concluded that the analysis conducted by Biffa was accurate.

An update position of each individual Partner’s local service preparations was provided as follows:


Hastings Borough Council: Despite a spike of missed collections in September all key performance indicators had been achieved regarding collection services.  Good communication including enhancements to Biffa’s management processes had driven improvement which resulted in much lower missed collection rates in October and November.  All other elements of the collection contract were operating as expected.


Rother District Council: As a result of Government restrictions, from late March, both collection and street cleansing services were impacted.  Bulky and garden waste collections were suspended and reinstated on 4 May 2020.  During the first lockdown period, collection services and bring site standards improved.  However, volumes of recycling and clothing waste augmented at bring sites, despite social media messages and notices which increased the amount of fly-tipping.  Street cleansing continued as scheduled across the district.  Since the easing of the first lockdown normal operations had resumed.  Garden waste rounds experienced high volumes throughout the summer-autumn period and ‘bring sites’ struggled with the volume of recycling (packaging internet shopping).  The volumes of litter had increased as visitors returned to the District and restaurants provided take-away food.  During the summer, missed bin collections increased at 259 per 100,000, in November this reduced to 39 per 100,000, a significant improvement.  A significant issue was the increased levels of contamination in recycling bins and particularly ‘bring sites’ (Ravenside); investigation and monitoring was ongoing.  Since September, the Council had actively promoted garden waste to achieve and exceed the target of 20,000 subscribers.  Street cleansing had remained acceptable and litter, detritus and dog fouling services had achieved or exceeded contractual targets.


Wealden District Council: Collection and assisted collection performance continued to improve, however bring site collections in the north of the District required improvement.  Progress had improved regarding container deliveries and street cleansing.  Fly-tip clearance remained good despite challenges with increased incidents at local recycling bring sites.  Bulky and clinical waste collection performance remained consistent.


Despite contingency measures implemented by Biffa, general concern was expressed that further service disruption could be experienced in 2021 as a result of another national COVID-19 lockdown.


The Joint Waste Partnership (JWP) Manager advised that during 2020 and safety requirements imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, Biffa had successfully introduced the administrative and management processes that allowed resources to be deployed to best effect.  She also advised that East Sussex County Council and Viridor had undertaken a detailed analysis of material collected at ‘bring sites’  ...  view the full minutes text for item JWRC20/25.


Date of the Next Meeting

Friday 26 March 2021, 10:00am.  To be held remotely on MS Teams.


It was confirmed that the next meeting was scheduled to be held remotely on MS Teams on Friday 26 March 2021 at 10:00am.