The joint agreement means each of the five councils will pay a tonnage levy for waste disposal – ending an archaic, and inequitable, charging system based on the number of band D properties in each area.
The agreement comes as the partnership of five councils prepares for a key Merseyside summit on major investments in waste management needed to comply with government and EU landfill legislation.
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) chair Councillor John Fletcher said: “I am delighted with this change. There has got to be a direct link between the amount of waste produced in an area and the levy paid by the council responsible. It shows that Merseyside is serious about partnership working based on a fair share of costs.
“This agreement is about charging councils more fairly and giving them a clear incentive to cut the amount of waste that needs to go for landfill. It is also a significant step forward in ensuring that we all work together to tackle the waste issues facing Merseyside.”
The major summit in Liverpool on Friday will outline the extent of local authority investment needed to dramatically cut the 700,000 tonnes of Merseyside waste going to landfill each year.
The investment – estimated at about £2 billionvalue over the next 25 years – will pay for new contractors, sites and major new technology. It will mean Merseyside can recycle much more waste and dispose of residue in a more environmentally-friendly way – so complying with tough Government waste disposal targets.
Councillor Fletcher said: “The cost of doing nothing will be even greater than the cost of investment. We have got to ‘bite the bullet’ now and work as partners to deliver both collection and treatment methods and the best value waste disposal services for people across Merseyside.”
Note to editors
· Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority is a local government body consisting of nine elected Members, representing the five constituent district councils in the Merseyside area. It is responsible for organising and managing the disposal of waste collected by the five District Councils of Merseyside.
§ The EU Landfill Directive puts statutory obligations on member states to ensure a 25% reduction on the amount of biodegradable waste that can be landfilled by 2010, over 50% reduction by 2013, and over 65% by 2020.