Agenda and minutes

Waste & Recycling Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday, 28th February, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms A & B - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Disclosures of Interest

In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, Councillors of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.



The following disclosures were made:



Item and Minute

Type and Nature of Disclosure



R A Lanzer

Introduction to the Review, Setting the Scoping Framework and Timescales

(Minute 2)

Personal Interest –

Member of WSCC (as WSCC is the

waste disposal authority)



Introduction to the Review, Setting the Scoping Framework and Timescales pdf icon PDF 203 KB

1.    To receive a brief introduction to the review from the Chair and Lead Officers.

2.    To discuss, amend (as necessary), and agree the scoping framework as attached.

3.    To determine any background information the Panel requires further to the information presented in the scoping framework.




Councillor Russell welcomed the Panel to the first meeting of the Waste and Recycling Review and provided some background information.


The purpose of the Panel was to look at how household waste recycling rates in Crawley could be improved, following the Notice of Motion (NOM) at Full Council in October 2023. There was a need to scrutinise the current situation and performance to improve Crawley’s household waste recycling rate, taking into account the differing challenges the Borough had in comparison to other areas, and explore the options available.


Associated and accompanying this, was the National Waste Strategy (Simpler Recycling) and how this would impact, but also seek to provide options for the changing collection regimes to improve the waste and recycling rates in the borough.  In addition to this, was improving awareness for residents and community engagement to improve the ability to recycle along with the new requirements to increase the waste and recycling rates.


It would be important for the Panel at end of each future meeting to think about what recommendations may be relevant for the final report as it was not advisable to wait until the last meeting and have to review each meeting in infinite detail.


The Chair then asked Nigel Sheehan, Head of Major Projects and Commercial Services and Lead Officer of the Panel, together with Paul Baker, Partnership Services Manager to provide some background information (attached as Appendix A to the minutes).


The Panel was informed that the current service locally operated on a 2-2-1 service (weekly residual waste, fortnightly dry recycling, paid fortnightly subscription garden waste). Across the collection regime there were approximately 50,000 collections per week. Nationally approximately only 17% of authorities had retained a weekly residual waste collection service and within West Sussex only Crawley and Arun operated this.


The service was delivered by Biffa Municipal (10 year contract), which had been extended for 2 years until April 2026 due to a response to the National Waste Strategy.  In terms of performance it was acknowledged that the partnership service was well regarded.  The continuity of service was highlighted during the Covid pandemic when the service had been maintained throughout that period. It was noted that sickness throughout the service was incredibly low compared to other authorities and the Panel recognised the commitment to staff engagement, morale, respect and recognition and it was felt there could be lessons to be learned indirectly from the positive results. 


With regards to recycling performance, across West Sussex the Council was performing the lowest for collecting recycling waste tonnage. However, there were significant factors and contextual issues that underpinned the performance figures. Only two authorities had retained the weekly residual waste collections (Crawley and Arun).  It was typical that where an authority had moved from a residual waste collection to one which was less frequent (fortnightly) this had resulted in higher recycling rates.  Additionally, the recycling figures included garden waste collections, but it was acknowledged that the borough had a large majority of flats relative to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Future Meetings

To confirm dates for future meetings and any witness sessions. (Please bring diaries to the meeting). 


Future sessions were agreed as follows (subject to witness attendance):


Session 2 – June (TBC – however placeholder slot of 12 June has been provisionally allocated)

·         Simpler Recycling - Local Delivery and Projection Impacts (recycling, carbon, operational) with consultants subject to dates and availability


Session 3 – (July TBC)

·         Recycling Performance Local Interventions

·         Simpler Recycling – Crawley Implementation


Session 4 – (Aug/Sept TBC)

·         Conclusions and Recommendations


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission would need to re-constitute the Scrutiny Panel (and membership) at its first meeting on 3 June prior to any meetings taking place.



Appendix A pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Appendix B pdf icon PDF 309 KB