Agenda item

Chorley Borough Council Issues

Refuse and Recycling Collections – Service Design Options


A representative from the Neighbourhoods Directorate will present a verbal report.


The Chair welcomed Mr Simon Clark (Environmental Health Manager) from Chorley Council.


Mr Clark gave a short presentation on the Refuse and Recycling Collection Services Contract for the period April 2009 – March 2019.


A recent survey had shown a slight drop in satisfaction from members of the public although 78% of people were happy to retain the alternative weekly collections.


By inviting tenders for a longer contract period it would enable the Council to obtain better value for money, allow the Council to further embed the process more and enable the service to reach its targets. Chorley is already one of the top performers in the country on recycling and it was the intention to improve on this and aim for the number one spot.


In response to public consultation, Chorley Council’s preferred system design would mean replacing all the plastic sacks and containers that the public currently uses with another wheeled receptacle that included a pod within. The design would allow the collection of co-mingled recycling. In addition it is intended to introduce a kitchen food waste service, which would be a valuable asset for those people who didn’t have a garden and therefore don’t have access to the brown recycling receptacle for garden waste.


A recent initiative had been introduced for communal areas. Tailored Solutions was the provision of the large commercial type receptacles to take the various types of recycled waste, placed together in an allocated space that is accessible to all the residents. Some of the bins have been painted in black and white, hence the nickname ‘cow bins’ and have proved popular with the children, helping to promote recycling.


Questions/ issues raised at the meeting:


(i)         A member of the public reported that her glass recycling had not been collected since May, she had rung the offices three times to report it but nothing had been done.


            Response:            Simon Clark apologised for this poor service and said that he would endeavour to get to the bottom of this issue. He promised to arrange for her collections to be closely monitored to ensure a consistent service. Mr Clark added that the intended co-mingle recycling bin that the Council aimed to introduce, would solve problems like these.


(ii)        A member of the public reported that the refuse people did not empty the bins that were slightly ajar.


            Response:            Mr Clark said that any receptacle that was only slightly ajar should be emptied and asked the gentleman to let him have further details after the meeting.


(iii)            Councillor Laura Lennox asked for clarification as to the types of plastics that the Council could recycle?


            Response:            Mr Clark explained that under the current system the only plastic that we could collect and recycle was plastic bottles as this was a high quality plastic that is easily recyclable, however the present contractor will take most yoghurt pots and some types of trays. They would not take shrink-wrap or plastic bags and the thinner type of food trays, as they are made from low grade plastic. It was hoped that the new contract would be able to take all types of plastic.


(iv)       A member of the public asked if there would be a trial of the new bin?


            Response:            The new bin will be rolled out at the start of the new contract in April 2009


(v)            Councillor Anthony Gee commented that the two weekly refuse collection had been successful because the people of Chorley had worked with the Council and had played their part in the change.


He did however have some concerns regarding the recycling of kitchen food waste and drew Mr Clarks attention to a food waste disposal service that had been implemented in Bristol that consisted of an open top bin ‘slop bins’, they were extremely unhygienic and smelled.


Response:            Mr Clark explained that the Council would be implementing a scheme that Preston City Council was piloting now. They were using a cold starch bag system that was fully biodegradable.


(vi)       Emma Hoyle (representing the Chorly MP) asked how the members of the public had been consulted on retaining the two-weekly collection cycle?


            Response:            Mr Clark explained that 1000 Households across the Borough had been sent a questionnaire. The households identified had mirrored the demographic census, so was a mixture of housing types. The Council had received a 46% return and 78% of respondents had indicated that they would like to see the continuation of the two-weekly collection system that is in place now.


(vii)      A member of the public reported that there is very often shredded paper blowing around the street after the recycling has been collected, and it is usually the residents that have to clean up the mess.


            Response:            Mr Clark explained that an Inspector follows the refuse collectors and should identify and deal with any incidences such as this. He urged anyone experiences issues like this to contact the Council offices straight away.


(viii)     A member of the public asked if there would be a safety issue with the new co-mingled bin, if the glass were to break when putting glass bottles into the receptacle.


            Response:            Mr Clark explained that the glass would fall down to the bottom of the bin, and that if it broke it would not matter has the bin is mounted on to a device that picks up the bins and empties it into the refuse wagon. The operatives do not touch any of the waste.


(ix)            Councillor Mary Wilson pointed out that sometimes the widths of the roads do not lend themselves to the large refuse wagons that come to collect the waste, and asked if the highways could put double yellow lines on the corners?


            Response:            Mr Clark thought that the Tailored Solutions that he had mentioned previously would help to alleviate problems like these.