Agenda item

Wheeled Bin and Food Waste Collection Prototype Survey Results

This report outlines the waste prototype collection scheme and the recent survey work undertaken in the areas using the service.


Annie Baker (Assistant Director, Street Environment Service) presented the item that outlined the waste prototype collection scheme and recent survey work undertaken in the areas using the service.


Councillor Adam Peter Lang asked if the pandemic and more people working from home had any impact on waste collection or fly tipping. Annie Baker said the pandemic had changed behaviours, with more food being consumed at home and more home deliveries. She added that the pandemic hadn’t impacted fly tipping significantly.


Councillor Lang asked officers to keep engaging with residents and landlords on any service changes to avoid unnecessary issues. Richard Shwe (Assistant Director of Environment Operations) said the Council was committed to engaging with residents. He noted his surprise when only 3% of residents complained about the prototype service and felt it showed the benefit of working with residents.


Councillor Ashok Patel said residents were encouraged to put wheelie bins out on the street the day before the collection, but he felt they served as an indicator for criminals to know which homes were unoccupied. He suggested the waste collectors could return bins to the garden to avoid this. He noted that in his experience people preferred to put their waste in a black sack and take it to the bin outside, but the survey said otherwise. Annie Baker said bins should be returned to where they were collected from, but if it continued to be an issue it could be looked at. Regarding sacks, she said people were previously putting smaller bin liners from around the home into a black sack but now they could put that waste directly into the bin, removing an item of single use plastic.


Councillor Jackie Borland noted some residents had commented on bins being left in the street after collection. She asked if there was a way to improve that. She also asked why officers thought there had been such a large increase in recycling. Annie Baker said the design of the scheme was to ‘nudge’ people to recycle more – for example the provided bins gave more space for cardboard and other recyclables compared with refuse.


Councillor Borland asked if the Council could offer different options to households based on how much space they had (i.e. homes without the space for a wheelie bin but could fit a food caddie). Annie Baker said only households with space for wheelie bins had been given them and the others got the food waste option.


Councillor Liz Collins noted there was an issue in her area with people stealing bins, so they had to be chained up. She asked if the green bins were free for residents. Annie Baker said the bins were provided without charge but said it was important they were moveable by the crews. Bins that had been stolen or damaged would be replaced.


The Chair thanked officers for the report and congratulated them on the successful prototype scheme. He was encouraged to see increased recycling rates now that food waste was adding to the total tonnage. He noted there had been concerns initially about the bins being obstacles, but the results of the survey suggested they been mitigated. He encouraged officers to look at how they could work with disabled residents and co-produce the service to ensure it worked for everyone.


The Chair asked how officers would identify further areas to roll the scheme out to. Annie Baker said officers were looking at the survey data and at the next meeting they expected to have plans for the next phase of the scheme. Richard Shwe added that officers would continue to work closely with local Councillors to deal with any issues before implementation.


The Chair asked about plans for collecting garden waste. Annie Baker said the new waste contract included provision for garden waste as an additional option. She said officers were looking at how to deliver a service that met residents’ needs. In response to the Chair’s concerns, Richard Shwe said officers were looking at garden waste being collected on the same day as the recycling where possible.


The Chair asked for a timeline of the next stages of the project. Annie Baker said a paper on food waste would be produced shortly, the reduction and recycling plan would be ready by March, and she expected to come back to the Committee with an update on recycling in late spring.


In response to a point raised by Councillor Sharon Holder (Cabinet Member for Public Realm), Annie Baker said officers were working to make it easier for residents to order recycling sacks online and pick them up at libraries as part of the Resident Engagement and Access Programme.


The Chair summarised the discussion and thanked officers and residents for attending.



That the Committee noted and commented on the report.

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