Major changes to waste and recycling collections move forward
Posted on: 6 September 2016
Major changes to our waste and recycling collection service in North Devon have been agreed.
At a North Devon Council meeting yesterday (Monday 5 September), Executive members agreed to expand the weekly recycling service. The decision means all homes across the district will soon be able to benefit from a weekly food waste collection service. The recycling service improvement follows other materials that were also recently added to the list that can go in your recycling box. This includes household batteries and small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
With more waste set to be recycled at the kerbside, councillors also agreed to trial proposals for a three-weekly black bin collection, to see if the increase in recycling reduces the non-recyclable items that people are throwing away.
Executive member for environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said: “The future delivery of our waste and recycling service is something we’ve had to look at, as part of a drive to meet national recycling standards, as well as reduce the cost of the service. Following consideration of various options, councillors have agreed we should work towards improving our weekly recycling collections, whilst moving non-recyclable rubbish collections to three weekly.
“However, we’re more than aware of concerns that some people may have about going to three weekly and the possible difficulties this may cause – which is why we’ve asked for two trial areas to be set up first. Depending on how these trials go, we’ll then decide whether or not we can roll the service out across the district in the future.”
The council will now work towards identifying two areas in North Devon for the three weekly trial, which will help reflect how the service works. The trials are likely to start after April 2017, with those communities (when confirmed) and the rest of North Devon being kept informed of the service proposals as they develop.
At the meeting, councillors also agreed to introduce a charge for green garden waste collections across the district. This will enable households to decide whether or not they want to opt in to the service. Again, this is likely to start after April 2017.
Councillor Cann added: “We currently have about 5,000 homes that don’t use our green wheelie bin service, due to various reasons. However, even though this service is discretionary, not statutory, we know it is valued by many others. Therefore, we’re keen to continue offering garden waste collections, but we need to make sure it’s fair for all, whilst also ensuring we meet a financial savings target of at least £340,000.
“A number of other councils already charge for garden waste collections and so, to bring us in line with them and to ensure we continue providing this in the future, we’ll be asking people to choose whether they want to pay for the service. Again, we understand there will be many questions that people will have and we’ll be considering all views and issues accordingly.”
Councillors have also agreed to focus on promoting and supporting home composting and community composting schemes. This will be a priority for the council as the plans develop over the coming months. The council will also continue to look into how it can provide home composting bins at a minimal cost to households.
As the details of the service changes develop, information will be placed on the council’s website, with households being kept informed of any updates through various communication channels (for example, through the media, social media or by letter/leaflet).Posted in: Environment