We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are J Woodward please sign in and let everyone know.

Sending plastic to the correct reprocessor - to DCC - December 2018

We're waiting for J Woodward to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Devon County Council,
On 28th May I made a Freedom of Information request: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...
Thank you for your reply of 26th June: https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma...
I provided an initial response on 28th June: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...
On 29th June, you asked whether I could provide you with a more complete response: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...
I would now like to provide further clarification.
.
INTRODUCTION:
I would like to make my formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am also making this request under the Environmental Impact Regulations 2004 which require disclosure on the part of Local Authorities.
The basis for my request is the text in your website http://www.recycledevon.org/what-happens... where you state:
“Plastic: What happens: plastic is sorted into different grades and then sent to the correct reprocessor where it is turned into new plastic items such as bottles, fleeces and food containers.”
In view of this and your earlier initial responses, I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions.
.
HOW PLASTIC WASTE IS HANDLED: SEGREGATED:
I had originally asked “How much of the plastic is sent on to “reprocessors” and “how much is dealt with by other means, such as landfill waste, incineration or other methods of disposal, by yourself and by other bodies?”
You stated in your reply that “Plastics segregated at HWRCs are sent to reprocessors. In 2017/18 1,327 tonnes of plastic waste was sent to reprocessors.”
> What exactly does this tonnage of plastic waste represent? What is the data for the percentage of “segregated” as opposed to “unsegregated” plastic?
If I might be more precise in my questions with regard to these “segregated plastics”:
> What percentage does not go into reprocessing? [eg: black plastics]
> What percentage goes to incineration in Devon, in the UK and abroad? [eg: tonnage measurements available at incinerator]
> What percentage is sold on the open market?
> What residual is disposed of as landfill waste? And what steps are taken to ensure that none of this residual escapes to pollute the environment?
> What are the “other methods of disposal” used, which your text refers to?
> What percentage of plastic is made into other goods? What type of goods?
> What is the lifespan of these new plastic items? [eg: of carpet backing]
> Which of these new plastic items are themselves recyclable?
.
HOW PLASTIC WASTE IS HANDLED: UNSEGREGATED:
You stated as part of your reply that “We do not record how much unsegregated plastic within general waste is sent to disposal processes.” And yet, to reiterate, “plastic is sorted into different grades and then sent to the correct reprocessor where it is turned into new plastic items.”
In that case, if only “segregated plastic” is “sent to disposal processes”, can you please state what happens to the “general waste” which contains the “unsegregated plastic”? That is: How much general waste is dealt with using “means such as landfill waste, incineration or other methods of disposal”? As with the above, to be more precise in my questions with regard to these “unsegregated plastics” as part of the “general waste”:
> What percentage goes to incineration in Devon, in the UK and abroad? [eg: tonnage measurements available at incinerator]
> What percentage is sold on the open market?
> What residual is disposed of as landfill waste? And what steps are taken to ensure that none of this residual escapes to pollute the environment?
> What are the “other methods of disposal” used, which your text refers to?
.
DETAILS OF REPROCESSORS:
> Could you provide me with more details about the “reprocessors” you send the plastic to?
> Could you give me their full postal addresses and website addresses?
> As regards my earlier question as to the “exact functions of these reprocessors”, I meant: What plastics do they reprocess and what exactly do they do with them? Have there been any changes to the original list of reprocessors since you first provided it?
• Viridor Rochester PRF
• Mononworld Recycling
• Wastecare
• Regenthill
• Kempenaars
• Empark Recycling Ltd
.
CONTRACTUAL INFORMATION AND AUDITING PROCESSES:
I asked you several questions to which you replied that “Devon County Council does not hold this information.” These were: “What systems do you use to determine who “the correct reprocessor” is?” “What systems do these ‘reprocessors’ use to determine how they then deal with the plastic?” “What percentages of the “new plastic items” are turned into “bottles, fleeces and food containers” – and other items?”
> I would nevertheless like to know: What systems do you use to keep track of the plastic to ensure that it is properly dealt with, from it leaving the sorting/ grading process to the final end-use?
I appreciate that the “systems in place” are “covered by waste management legislation, the duty of care owed by the parties who are transporting it and the regulation by the Environment Agency.” However, I also appreciate that Devon County Council clearly have taken on a responsibility, having made a public commitment by declaring that “plastic is sorted into different grades and then sent to the correct reprocessor where it is turned into new plastic items.”
I had asked: What systems do you use to determine who “the correct reprocessor” is? You replied that “The contractor operating the HWRCs determine where the material is sent and we therefore do not hold this information.” And, yet, to reiterate, you state publicly that “plastic is sorted into different grades and then sent to the correct reprocessor.”
> In order to ascertain the systems which the Council use to ensure that the “correct reprocessor” is taken on, that the plastic is “sorted into different grades” and that it is “turned into new plastic items”, I would like to ask you to provide me with a) the full, unredacted tendering and contractual documentation made between you and the reprocessors; and b) the full, unredacted tendering and contractual documentation made between you and the contractors operating the HWRCs.
> I would also like you to provide me with any documentation relating to auditing of these contractual agreements. By auditing, I mean the mechanisms by which the reprocessors can be made fully accountable and the systems by which compliance is reported back to the Council.
.
CONCLUSION:
Finally, I appreciate the challenges which councils generally are facing:
https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/chin...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/...
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10...
and I certainly do not wish to undermine the efforts of the Council:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10...
or the confidence which people have in these efforts:
https://www.lgcplus.com/services/environ...
However, in view of the clear determination of these efforts and considering the Council's public declarations, I would like to be given reassurances as to how plastic waste is managed.
I look forward to hearing from you.
With best regards,
Jeremy Woodward

access to information - mailbox, Devon County Council

Dear Mr Woodward,

Freedom Of Information Request
Reference – 8200928

I am in receipt of your new request for information which will be handled in accordance with your rights under the above legislation. Your request has been passed to the Information Governance team to deal with in accordance with the Council’s Environmental Information Regulations and Freedom of Information Request Handling Policy.

Under the above legislation, you are entitled to be informed as to whether or not Devon County Council holds the information you have requested, and if so to have this communicated to you within 20 working days. At times the Council may have to withhold certain information because an exemption from disclosure applies. If we feel that this should apply to any of the information you have requested, we will inform you of this fact (unless to do so would reveal information that would otherwise be exempt). We will also give you details of how you may appeal our decision.

The Council will endeavour to provide you with a response to your request as soon as possible but incidentally by no later than the 22nd of January 2019.

Thank you again for contacting Devon County Council, I hope this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Assistant
Information Governance Team
01392 383000
Email: [Devon County Council request email]
Website: Devon County Council

Disclaimer: Emails and any attached or linked to documents from Devon County Council which contain personal or sensitive personal data about clients or employees, or sensitive business data, are confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by replying to the email, and then delete the email without forwarding, printing, copying, sharing or using it in any way. Personal data in any format should be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. Personal data we collect from you will be processed in accordance with this Privacy Notice. Devon County Council will take all reasonable steps to make emails secure and protect them from viruses but cannot accept liability for loss or damage caused by their transmission to a recipients device or network. Please follow your own organisations virus checking procedure before opening attachments. Links to publicly available information or to documents in a shared area will be sent where possible. Senders and recipients of email should be aware that under UK Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation the content of emails may have to be disclosed in response to a request so care should be taken in terms of content.

Your right to complain
If for any reason you are not satisfied with how your request has been handled, please write to Customer Relations Team, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD. Details about our Access to Information complaints procedure can be found at https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma.... If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

show quoted sections

access to information - mailbox, Devon County Council

Dear Mr Woodward,

Freedom Of Information Request
Reference – 8200928

I write with regard to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please find Devon County Council’s response available via the attached link:

https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma...

I hope this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Kaye
Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team
Room 120
County Hall
Exeter
EX2 4QD
Tel: 01392 383000 – Ask for Information Governance Team
Email: [Devon County Council request email]

Please note that Devon County Council now publishes most Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations request responses on its publication scheme. Details of previous responses are available at https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma.... The council requests that members of the public make use of its disclosure log search facility before making a Freedom of Information or Environmental Information Regulations request, as it is possible that the information sought, may have been disclosed in response to a prior request.

Your right to complain
If for any reason you are not satisfied with how your request has been handled, please write to Customer Relations Team, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD. Details about our Access to Information complaints procedure can be found at https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma.... If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Re-use of information
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Use for Direct Marketing purposes is prohibited. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by Devon County Council will have been produced by local officials and will be our copyright. If you would like to re-use any of the information which has been supplied to you, please contact us. Information you receive which is not subject to our copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any information.

Disclaimer: Emails and any attached or linked to documents from Devon County Council which contain personal or sensitive personal data about clients or employees, or sensitive business data, are confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by replying to the email, and then delete the email without forwarding, printing, copying, sharing or using it in any way. Personal data in any format should be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. Personal data we collect from you will be processed in accordance with this Privacy Notice. Devon County Council will take all reasonable steps to make emails secure and protect them from viruses but cannot accept liability for loss or damage caused by their transmission to a recipients device or network. Please follow your own organisations virus checking procedure before opening attachments. Links to publicly available information or to documents in a shared area will be sent where possible. Senders and recipients of email should be aware that under UK Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation the content of emails may have to be disclosed in response to a request so care should be taken in terms of content.

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are J Woodward please sign in and let everyone know.