We’re welcoming the Birmingham City Council Transport, Connectivity and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee’s Waste to Resources report, to be discussed at today’s Council Meeting.

However we question the timing of the report’s recommendations, and criticise the continued the use of the Tyseley Incinerator in a potential future waste strategy, both of these issues risk undermining the positive aspects of the report.

Our lead campaigner on waste John Newson said:

“It is vital to have a waste system which makes it as easy for people to reduce, re-use, compost and recycle their waste. We therefore welcome this report and its recommendation for the Council to produce a new Waste Strategy in consultation with the people of Birmingham.

“However Birmingham City Council needs to ensure that this process is carried out properly. We feel the current timetable could undermine the sincerity of the consultation process, potentially making it look as though all the important decisions will already have been made.

 “Producing a procurement plan and making a statement on the future of Tyseley, before any new Strategy is in place, is tackling the problem the wrong way round. Also, as the Incinerator may prove to be a very problematic “solution” compared to other ways of recovering the value of wastes, it is imperative to audit the facility before the development of the Strategy and decisions are made on procurement.”

 John continued:

 “It is clear that Birmingham City Council must choose between recovering the value of most its waste through higher rates of re-use, recycling and composting, or continuing to burn most of it as at present. This is a major strategic question which needs to be answered with a properly thought-out strategy developed in partnership with the people of Birmingham.”

You can see the waste to resources report on the Council website here and our submission to the inquiry here.