What information can I have access to?
We provide a range of services in order to manage the waste collected by seven north London boroughs, namely Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. We also own the company LondonWaste Ltd.
As a result, information requests are sent to the Authority regarding a number of issues. All requests relating to LondonWaste Ltd, should also be sent to the North London Waste Authority (NLWA).
Environmental information includes a range of environmental information including information about activities which might have an impact on the environment.
Freedom of Information covers ALL information held by us, and so allows access to types of information as varied as the services we provide. Examples of previous requests for information include:
- amount of garden and food waste produced in north London and details of how it is managed
- details of mechanical biological treatment plants in Europe
- composition of compost produced
- tonnage of material recycled and destination
- details of the sites being proposed by companies bidding for our fuel use contract
- how much landfill tax has been paid on behalf of each north London borough
- entries into our hospitality register
- details of reviews of our Standing Orders
- number of empty properties that we own
A list of the types of information we make available as a matter of course is contained in the Publication Scheme. It tells you where you can get hold of it and if there will be a charge. This includes information such as:
- Authority meeting reports and minutes
- annual financial and service reports
- adopted strategies and progress made
Search the publication scheme
Any person who makes a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and, subject to exemptions, supplied with that information.
Every public authority is required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme setting out the classes of information it holds, the manner in which it makes available the information, and whether a charge is made for the information.
The purpose of a scheme is to ensure a significant amount of information is available, without the need for a specific request. Schemes are intended to encourage organisations to publish more information proactively and to develop a greater culture of openness.
On the Authority's website there is a publication scheme which includes details of what information is available on other parts of the site. The introduction to governance and accountability section provides details about access to Authority meetings which is cross referenced to the publication scheme. Here you can search our publication scheme and find details on how you can make a request for information.
How do I make a request for information?
For many enquiries you may be able to find the information you are looking for on our website. If you can't find the information you need please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can't find what you are looking for and wish to make a request for information, please complete and submit our online request form.
An environmental information or freedom of information request must:
- be in writing (including email, letter, fax, or web form);
- include the name of the person requesting the information;
- include an address for correspondence (a phone number or email address is also useful if we need to clarify your request);
- a description of the information required; and
- if you have a preference, please also tell us what format you would like to receive the information (e.g. in paper, by email etc.)
Under the Environmental Information Regulations you can also make a request verbally. An officer will transcribe this and then we will confirm your request in writing.
Your request does not have to mention the legislation, and you do not have to tell us why you want the information, but the more details you can give, the more effective we can be in providing the information you are seeking.
Please send requests using either our online request form or via the postal or email address below:
North London Waste Authority
Lee Valley Technopark
What happens next?
We will acknowledge your request, in the format that it was sent, usually within five working days. We will then assess the request and estimate the amount of work involved in answering it.
The legislation limits the amount of time that an authority has to spend meeting a request to 18 actual working hours. This is plenty of time to deal with most requests but if a request requires the collection and copying of a very large amount of information that is spread across departments, it may take more than 18 hours to provide the information.
If we are unclear about exactly what you want, or your request is so large that it will take longer than 18 working hours to provide the information, we will contact you to clarify exactly what you need.
We have a maximum of 20 working days from the day after we receive the request to provide the information. If we need to ask for fees and/or any further information needed to clarify the request we will 'stop the clock' until we have received this.
Can you refuse my request?
There are a number of reasons for refusing to provide information, including:
- we do not hold the information
- it will take more than 18 working hours to provide the information (we will contact you and try to narrow your requirements)
- if an exemption applies (see below)
If any of these apply we will write to you explaining why we cannot provide the information, along with instructions on how to appeal against this decision.
Are there any exemptions?
There is some information that we cannot make publicly available without significantly disrupting the ability of the Authority to deliver services, breaching privacy or confidentiality agreements, or endangering public safety.
There are 23 exemptions and a full list can be supplied on request, or is available from the Information Commissioner's office. Some of these do not apply to information held by a local authority.
Exempt information that we hold includes:
- information relating to current contract negotiations; and
- current investigation records whose release would affect our ability to enforce the law
Embarrassment to the Authority is not an exemption.
Some of the exemptions apply in all circumstances but for others, we have to consider whether it is more in the public interest to release the information than to withhold it.
If we do decide that an exemption applies we will tell you why, and where relevant, the public interest reasons for doing so. You can appeal against this decision and details of how to do this will be included in our response.
What will it cost me?
Most requests under the Environmental Information Regulations or Freedom of Information Act are met at no cost to the requester.
For requests that take less than 18 working hours to process, no charge will be made except for postage and photocopying. Photocopying and postage costs are:
- 10p per page (black and white);
- 50p per page (colour); and
- actual postage costs
We do not charge if the total cost is less than £10.
However, there are some instances where we will require a contribution to the cost of providing the information.
If a request will take more than 18 working hours to collate the information, we are not obliged to provide the information. In some circumstances we may agree to provide the information but ask the requester to contribute to the cost of meeting the request. In these circumstances, we will charge an hourly rate of £25 after the first 18 working hours.
You will be advised of any charges before the information is collected. Please make all cheques payable to North London Waste Authority.
What happens if I'm not happy?
If you feel that your request has not been handled well, you do not agree that the information will be exempt, or you disagree with the suggested cost of providing the information, you can complain to our Internal Review Panel.
Details of how to appeal will be provided with any response to your request.
The panel sits on a monthly basis and will review your case to ensure that the officers dealing with the original request have done so in line with the requirements of the legislation. If they decide that information should not be exempt then it will be released.
If you are not satisfied with this decision you can complain in the first instance to Corporate Complaints, London Borough of Camden:
London Borough of Camden
If you are still not happy with how a request has been handled following a complaint to the Corporate Complaints department listed above then you can write secondly to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
The Information Commissioner also decides on cases where there is a difference of opinion between an applicant for information and a public body in relation to a request for information.