Part 2: How to write a modern Resources & Waste Strategy

In the blog published earlier this week, we identified the different motivations for developing a Resources & Waste Strategy, this follow up blog sets out ways of gathering supporting evidence for the strategy whilst there is a raft of impending legislation, new stakeholders and service changes all arriving in the next few years. One key issue is that we don’t know ‘when’!

Talking ‘bout a Revolution - Getting Stakeholders on Board

With multiple changes due to transform products and waste services over the next decade, there is a need to get across key messages. We see these as being: the carbon implications of waste and purchasing decisions; that the revenue streams, costs and stakeholders will be changing; that collections and products (and therefore waste materials) will be changing, and; that all of these will have implications for how the services are organized and run in future.

Finding the words and illustrations on how to convey these changes are important for these messages to take hold and to bring key stakeholders (members, Directors of services, CEOs, the public) along with the development of the Strategy.

Fashion! - Modelling the things that suit you

Every Council has different issues, but all will need to respond to the themes and messages identified above. A list of commonly modelled collection options was included in the preceding blog, but also looking at repair and reuse opportunities are key aspects to include. Other considerations may include: AHP collections for LA systems with limited residual waste capacity; looking at the implications of separate POPs bulky waste collections, and; the potential for improving high rise household recycling.

The modelling should take account of implications of key policy changes like consistent collections, DRS and EPR. We don’t know when and in what form they might land, but the appraisal should provide useful information for performance expectation, costs and compliance.

The long & winding road – horizon scanning

Colleagues that remember the waste forecasts of the early noughties, the +3%, +2%, +1% for long term contracts and strategies, recall that it is easy to oversimplify waste projections, and these were both oversimplified and drastically wrong. For example, the recession in 2009 combined with austerity (and local authority responses like garden waste charges) meant that total household waste has never returned to the levels of the late noughties, despite a rising population. Going deeper into individual policy influences, socio-demographics and the economy implications should yield more accurate assumptions, whilst the diversity of influences mean they will never be ‘exactly right’, the aim is that they project in right area to meaningfully inform longer term decisions.

There is a new wave of Resource & Waste Strategies under development, we have referred (in these blogs and our newsletter) to five Strategies that we have been involved in over the last two years, and as policy is clarified many more are anticipated. The Strategies take between 10 and 18 months to develop (the longer end for two tier ‘Joint’ strategies), so starting the process early has some benefits to support the decisions and procurement needed over the next few years.

For any advice or a chat around Resource & Waste Strategies, contact or call 01746 552423, and for further information have a look at the website and its blogs or register for our newsletter by emailing

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