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Cabinet gives green light to Cotswold waste proposals

Wide-ranging plans to improve the waste and recycling service in the Cotswolds were today (Thursday, 11th October) given the green light.

The proposals, which include the introduction of a weekly collection of food waste for composting and the introduction of wheelie bins for the collection of non-recyclable waste, were unanimously supported by Cotswold District Council’s Cabinet.

If the full Council endorses that decision next Tuesday, the new service will be rolled out across the District from February 2008.

Council Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said: “We have been looking at this waste service redesign for 18 months and these proposals have the makings of a first-class service that will take us forward.”

Cotswold District is already top of the recycling league in Gloucestershire with a recycling and composting rate of over 40% and the Council believes the proposed improvements to the service should ensure it continues to lead the way with a rate approaching 60%.

The new service would include:

  • The introduction of a weekly food waste collection for composting using new food waste containers
  • The collection of garden waste weekly instead of fortnightly and the introduction of a small charge for those residents who want to receive a garden waste collection
  • The fortnightly kerbside collection of card and cardboard for recycling using new reusable bags
  • The continuation of the current fortnightly kerbside collection of paper, tins/cans, aerosols and glass for recycling
  • The collection of non-recyclable waste fortnightly in wheelie bins or authorised coloured bin bags instead of weekly in black sacks

The weekly collection of cooked and uncooked food waste would mean the vast majority of ‘smelly waste’ would still be collected on a weekly basis, so there should be no fears of problems surrounding vermin, maggots and flies.

The food waste, which accounts for nearly a quarter of all household waste by weight, would be turned into high grade compost at a new facility called an In Vessel Composter provided by Gloucestershire County Council.

Portfolio Holder Cllr Mark Tufnell said: “I think we will have a significantly improved service by approving this report.

“The whole purpose of this new service will be to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill where food waste is a major cause of the greenhouse gas methane.”

The new service would also include the introduction of a £30 charge for the collection of garden waste per wheelie bin per year or £30 for a supply of 50 brown paper garden waste sacks. A 50% discount would be made available to those residents in receipt of Council Tax benefit.

The current kerbside waste and recycling collection service consists of:

  • Weekly collection of non-recyclable household waste in black sacks provided by the householder – residents are able to put out an unlimited number of sacks
  • Fortnightly collection of dry recyclables – paper, cans/tins and aerosols, glass bottles and jars – in kerbside boxes
  • Fortnightly collection of garden waste, either in wheelie bins or brown garden waste sacks

Proposed new service:

  • Weekly collection of food waste in new food waste containers
  • Fortnightly collection of dry recyclables, in kerbside boxes as above with the addition of card and cardboard in new reusable bags to be issued to every household
  • Fortnightly collection of non-recyclable household waste in wheelie bins (or coloured refuse sacks for those householders who cannot accommodate a wheelie bin) – no additional non-recyclable waste will be collected unless it is contained within Council-issued coloured refuse sacks
  • Optional weekly collection of garden waste, either in wheelie bins or brown garden sacks. Residents wanting to receive this weekly garden waste collection under the new service would be charged £30 per year for each garden waste wheelie bin or £30 for a supply of 50 brown paper garden waste sacks. A 50% discount would be made available to those residents in receipt of Council Tax benefit.

Cllr Tufnell added: “Without the introduction of a charge for the collection of garden waste I do not think this service would be sustainable. However, we are conscious that there are a number of residents on Council Tax benefit who may find £30 too much to pay, so I would recommend that they be entitled to a 50% reduction.”

Under the new service, the Council’s waste contractor, SITA, would only pick up non-recyclable waste contained within wheelie bins or in Council issued coloured refuse sacks. However, there would be a two-week amnesty around Christmas when householders would be able to put out an unlimited amount of non-recyclable rubbish.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Bob Austin, explained that measures had already been put in place to ensure that help would be given to residents to ensure that they understood how to use the new service.

“The Council is going to employ two Environmental Wardens and among their duties will be the task of working with the waste team,” he said. “This would include face-to-face contact helping those residents who had not got the message about not overfilling their bins or putting out side waste.

“However, I am absolutely confident that the residents of the Cotswolds will respond very positively to this new service, as they have done to every other initiative taken by the Council to increase recycling rates and reduce waste going to landfill.”

If full Council approves the new service next Tuesday, every resident in the District will receive an information pack through the post this month.

Detailed information about the changes would also be included in the next edition of the Council’s newspaper, the Cotswold News, which is due to be delivered across the District from Monday, 5th November.

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