Council will retain garden waste service during winter
Release date: 26 February 2019
Members of Cotswold District Council have agreed to continue kerbside garden waste collections during the winter
Councillors agreed late last year to suspend garden waste collections for a three month period during the winter, and supported a move from weekly to fortnightly collections. At that time the Council said it would consider reducing the cost of the service to offset the changes.
However, in return for a continuation of collections all year round, - albeit on a fortnightly basis with effect from 1 November 2019 - the cost of each licence will now remain at £30 per year.
The new arrangements – which will include separate collections of food waste (in new robust outdoor caddies) on a weekly basis - will come into effect from 1 November.
Commenting on the decision, CDC Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Sue Coakley said,
“The collection of garden waste is an optional service, so it is important that we ensure the cost is not borne by all residents. By pegging the fee at £30 the cost of the service will just about break even thanks to the introduction of fortnightly collections from1 November. We originally proposed a winter break – and a subsequent reduction in the licence fee - but we became aware that residents would rather we continued all year round.
“We will be reviewing the service before the end of January 2020, in direct consultation with all garden waste licence holders, and this will enable us to gauge the effectiveness of these changes. By then, we will also be able to take into account any updates to government-led proposals which include the provision of separate weekly food waste collections, which might even include government funding of garden waste collections.
“For the time being, I must stress that the annual £30 licence fee is still remarkably good value compared with other neighbouring authorities who charge more for collecting fortnightly.”
There has been a lot of debate in public about the proposed changes to the waste service. To clarify matters, the key points are as follows;
- Garden waste collections will continue on a weekly basis until we introduce a new fleet of vehicles towards the end of this year to replace older vehicles that are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and are liable to break down more frequently).
- To tie in with new fleet beginning operations, garden waste collections will move from a weekly to a fortnightly basis with effect from November 2019.
- Kerbside food collections will continue on a weekly basis, and, when the new fleet begins operations towards the end of this year, residents will be provided with bigger more robust animal-proof caddies for their food waste.
- When the improved food caddies are introduced towards the end of the year, residents will no longer be able to place food waste in their garden waste bins.
- Separating food from garden waste will enable us to begin using an anaerobic digester facility for more efficient – and environmentally friendly - reprocessing of food remains. Similarly, we will be able to process the garden waste using a far cheaper and more environmentally beneficial composting method. Additionally, making fortnightly garden waste collections will enable us to reduce our vehicle pollution levels and save fuel.
- The new fleet of vehicles will allow us to introduce extra kerbside recycling options for the very first time - textiles, batteries, small electrical and electronic items and Tetrapak cartons. We will provide the appropriate containers for recycling these new items.
- Prior to the new vehicles being introduced later this year, we will review how waste rounds are organised to maximise the efficiency of collections across the District. This will result in a change to collection days for some residents and they will be informed well in advance of any change.
- Before any changes are introduced, we will send information to every household explaining how the new recycling arrangements will work.
On 18 February 2019, the Government set out plans for a major overhaul of the country’s waste system, through the launch of a suite of consultations.
Building on commitments made in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018, the consultations provide detail on plans to (i) make packaging producers pay the full cost of dealing with their waste; (ii) introduce a consistent set of recyclable materials to be collected from all households and businesses; (iii) introduce consistent labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle; and (iv) to bring in a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for cans and bottles, subject to consultation.
The proposals include separate weekly food waste collections for every household in England and could include free fortnightly garden waste collections for households with gardens.
On the same day, government also launched its consultation on introducing a world-leading tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content, subject to consultation, from April 2022. This will counter the use of new, non-recycled plastic material (which has greater environmental impact) because it is often a cheaper option.
The Government is seeking views on its plans over a 12 week period. The changes will then make up a key part of the government’s upcoming Environment Bill, to be introduced early in the second session of Parliament. Changes are envisaged over the period 2023-2025, and financial implications - including impacts on local authorities - are covered.