Message sent on behalf of Cllr Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services
On Monday morning we will be launching a consultation on some options for changes to bin collections; I want to explain what we will be consulting on and how residents can have their say.
The current waste collection contracts come to an end in 2019 and this gives us the ideal opportunity to consider options to:
- harmonise the service across the area;
- increase efficiency; and
- increase levels of recycling.
Waste is the third largest area of revenue spend for the council after adult social care and children’s services. Therefore, it is important we redesign this service as efficiently as possible.
Whilst we will be able to make some efficiencies through harmonising the service, smart procurement and digitisation, increasing recycling rates is where we will make the most savings.
Not only is recycling the right thing to do for environmental reasons, it is also the most cost-effective way of disposing of our waste. It is four times cheaper to recycle than it is to dispose of the contents of domestic waste (black) bins.
We know that some of our residents recycle a lot, but many don’t do as much as they could. In a recent study of our resident’s black bins we discovered that, on average, over half of the waste could have been recycled.
Options for change
The options for change that we will be asking for feedback on are:
- Weekly food waste collection for everyone.
- Three options for fortnightly recycling collections, one of which includes glass collection for everyone.
- Three-weekly collection of domestic waste (black bins).
- Year-round fortnightly collection of garden waste, which customers will be charged for.
Clearly, some of these options will raise anxieties with some residents. I would really like to stress to you, and hopefully you can reiterate this message with your residents, that we are at an early stage of exploring these options. No decision has been made. The feedback from the consultation will really help us decide what changes to make and what else we might need to think about to support residents to recycle more.
We are not the only council to have considered some of these options; 17 other councils have moved to three-weekly domestic waste collections. We are looking closely at the schemes these councils have introduced and learning as much as we can from them. What is clear though is that this approach definitely increases recycling rates.
Collecting garden waste is not a statutory service that the council has to provide. Almost a third (30%) of councils are now charging for this service. Again, we are looking at these councils and learning from their experiences.
The consultation will open on 26 February and run until 5.00pm on 20 April 2018.
There is some basic information on our website already that you can direct residents to; please go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/bin-changes.
When the consultation is launched there will be more information added to the website and we will update the FAQs throughout the consultation. There will also be an online survey that people can complete.
During the first two weeks of the consultation we will be send a leaflet through every letterbox in the area. This will outline the options and direct people to the website to have their say, or to libraries and Household Waste Recycling Centres and other locations to pick up a paper version of the questionnaire. We will also send copies to all town and parish councils.
During the consultation the waste team will be available to speak to residents and answer questions at the following libraries during the consultation:
Toddington Library - Tuesday, 13 March from 9am to 11:30am
- Biggleswade Library - Friday, 16 March from 11am to 1:30pm
- Dunstable Library - Saturday, 17 March from 1:30pm to 4pm
- Leighton Buzzard Library - Tuesday, 20 March from 10am to midday
- Flitwick Library - Wednesday, 21 March from 3pm to 5:30pm
- Shefford Library - Saturday, 24 March from 9am to 11:30am
- Houghton Regis Library - Tuesday, 27 March from 1:30pm to 4pm
The consultation feedback will be considered, along with further modelling work, at the Executive meeting on 10 May 2018. Changes would not be implemented until Autumn 2019.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Cllr Budge Wells - Deputy Executive Member for Community Services