Note: The meeting returned to open session at 7.57pm
The Committee gave consideration to a report presented by the Assistant Director of Commercial and Operational Services regarding the revised Waste Services Policies. It was explained that the purpose of the report was to provide commentary on the proposed Waste Service Policies resulting from the forthcoming introduction of separate paper and cardboard collections. The Committee heard that the document was first introduced when the triple bin scheme was introduced in 2009 and had been updated on a couple of occasions since then. It was now timely to update the document given the upcoming introduction of Purple Lidded bins in April. It was noted that most policies within the document were working well and had not changed, with those that had changed summarised as follows.
Note: Councillor M. Devine returned to the Chamber at 8.00pm
Policy 8 was around the new separate paper and card collections. All residents who currently received a wheeled bin collection service would receive a purple lidded bin to enable them to separate out their paper and card. There was no opt out, any resident who indicated they did not want a bin would be visited by Officers and a solution would be found to their individual issues, this had worked well in North Kesteven and Boston. All purple lidded bins would be free until April 2024, there was no capacity to supply more than one of these bins and there had been very little demand for this in other districts. The exception to this service would be properties mainly in the South West Ward of Gainsborough, but also other areas around the district, who currently had a sack based collection regime. This was because the current end destination contractor did not have the ability to split bags, however, there was work ongoing to resolve this, meaning the service may be expanded in due course.
Policy 12 was around side waste, where the council had traditionally taken recycling side waste in sacks. Given the need to keep paper and card clean and dry and improve the quality of the other dry recyclate, it was proposed that no side waste should be taken from the date of implementation.
Policy 14 was in relation to missed bins and the council would continue with the pledge to empty missed bins within five working days, whilst wherever possible keeping the waste in the correct stream.
Within Policy 15 it was proposed to remove the need to give a crime reference number when replacing stolen bins as it was not a major issue in or district and the practice simply caused unnecessary delays and demands on the Police and Customer Services staff.
Policy 18 referred to the supply of bins to new properties. Purple lidded bins would be free until 2024 at new properties, after which there would be a cost. Finally, Policy 25 recognised that the purple bins would be supplied free to village halls.
The Assistant Director of Commercial and Operational Services concluded by assuring Members the changes came about as the service complied with the latest legislation, strove to make the waste services achieve the objectives of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership waste strategy and to do the right thing environmentally. The new bin would not be universally popular and there had been issues in other districts who had delivered this, including rejection of bins for contamination reasons, however it was important to support residents at this point to ensure the correct behaviours for the future. The council was learning from other partners who had already introduced the additional bin and there was close working with Lincolnshire County Council Officer to put resources on the ground and in the call centre to deal with issues that may arise as soon as possible. The recommendations within the report were summarised for the Committee and questions invited.
Members thanked the Assistant Director for his summary and expressed their thanks to the Officer who had completed the report. The Committee were supportive of the proposed amendments and discussed the roll out of the new bins, including the implications for those residents who did not support the addition of a new bin. It was explained that there would be ‘on the ground’ Officers to support the roll out and discuss any individual concerns with residents. It was also emphasised that the separate collections would have such a beneficial impact on the amount of recyclable waste that the advantages explained themselves. A Member of the Committee requested that communications regarding the new bins were not solely undertaken via social media and it was confirmed that there was a much wide communications plan in place, with social media being a supportive aspect rather than the main delivery method. It was noted again that there would also be Officers supporting the new collections in person and talking to residents on their rounds.
Members expressed their support for the removal of the need for a Police incident number in relation to stolen bins and it was agreed that, should it be necessary, the Council could liaise separately with the Police regarding total numbers of stolen bins, for example on a monthly or annual basis.
In response to an enquiry regarding commercial waste, it was explained that commercial collections were a paid for service and the Council would be working with businesses to maximise the recyclable element of their commercial waste.
Having been moved and seconded, and with further thanks to those involved, it was unanimously
a) the proposed changes to the Waste and Recycling Operational Policies document, as set out in Section 3 of the report and in Appendix 1, be approved; and
b) the new changes be formally introduced from April 2022; and
c) minor policy changes be delegated to the Assistant Director of Commercial and Operational Services, in consultation with the Chair of the Prosperous Communities Committee.