Agenda item

Agenda item

The Waste Collection Contract


To receive a report following the outcome of a public consultation on the new waste collection contract.




The Chairman introduced the item and reminded the Committee that the Waste Collection Contract was the largest revenue contract awarded by the Council. The current contract had been in place since the inception of Central Bedfordshire Council with many processes inherited from previous authorities. It was important to reassess efficiencies and harmonise the service across the whole of the area.


The Executive Member for Community Services delivered a presentation, which set out the case for change, outlined targets in relation to recycling, the impact to the environment and costs involved. The presentation outlined resident’s views having received over 15,000 responses to the recent consultation. With the current contract due for renewal in 2019, the Council had the opportunity to reassess the future needs of the area with regards to waste collection and Members were appraised of the various options available in addition to impact assessments.


There had been consistent themes emerging from the consultation with 94% of residents agreeing the importance of recycling; 57% did not support the option of three weekly black bin waste collection; and 53% supported the need to identify cost savings from the service. There were variations in the north and south of the area with regards to support for food waste collection and methods of collecting green garden waste with various concerns raised by residents. However it was acknowledged that many such similar concerns had been raised when food waste collection had been introduced in the north of Central Bedfordshire previously so the directorate was confident these could be overcome. Comments from the Committee would form part of the consultation response and would be considered by the Executive on 10 May 2018.


In light of the presentation Members discussed the following in summary:-

·         There were very few complaints to the existing service with concerns that new collection methods, cost and efficiency savings would result in a deterioration of current service levels and additional pressures put upon staff as calls and complaints from the public increased.

·         The need to take into consideration Government proposals to process plastic and glass returnables due to the impact on the levels collected locally and the income generated.

·         The need for flexibility with regards to vehicle specifications and collection methods, taking into consideration the substantial financial investment required.

·         The need to support residents to recycle effectively, reduce food waste and dispose of their residual waste in the correct manner in order to combat concerns in relation to smell, contamination and an increase in vermin and flies.

·         That consideration be given to including nappy waste within the clinical collection in order to support larger families, to which it was confirmed that need would be assessed as it arose.

·         Whether a charge for the collection of green garden waste was outweighed by the cost of regular trips to the HWRC’s.

·         The importance of taking into consideration the lack of public support for three weekly collection proposals.

·         The benefits of a dual service for residents in order to increase the choices available to them, particularly in relation to green garden waste and taking into account the different types of properties across the area and space available for additional bins.

·         Confirmation that the new waste depot at Thorn Turn provided adequate provision for commercial waste.

·         That additional research data in relation to green garden waste charges applied by other authorities ought to be included within the Executive report.

·         Confirmation that the cost of additional bins and equipment had been included in the capital budget.

·         The need for retailers to take responsibility for packaging.

·         That glass would need to be collected separately due to health and safety concerns and the contamination of other recyclables once broken.

·         That if additional bins were introduced planning applications and conditions for bin storage and space on new build properties would need to adapted accordingly.

·         The impact of the new Covanta waste site on the disposal of residual waste.

·         Whether a charge could be levied for green garden waste for 9 months instead of 12 and so reduce the cost.

·         That existing bottle banks across the area would be retained regardless of any future policies to collect glass from individual households.

·         That consideration be given to a phased implementation of any changes to the service in order that the public had time to adapt.


RECOMMENDED that the following comments of the Committee be provided to Executive during its consideration of the proposals:-


1.    That a new contract allow for flexibility within its processes in order to maximise service level efficiencies.

2.    That the Committee support the harmonisation of service delivery across the north and south of Central Bedfordshire in relation to food waste and green garden waste collection.

3.    That the majority of the Committee supported a £nil charge for green garden waste (5 in favour and 2 against).

4.    That the kerbside collection of glass, paper and cardboard be supported.

5.    That the option of a dual service for residents in order to increase the choices available to them be supported.

6.    That following changes the directorate invest time and resources to supporting and educating the public with regards to appropriate recycling and waste disposal.

7.    That the service be kept as simple and as streamlined as possible.

8.    That the vehicles should be suitable for multi-operational collections as necessary, minimising the impact on the capital budget.


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