Meeting documents

  • Meeting of Services Overview Committee, Tuesday, 24th April, 2018 6.30 pm (Item 36.)

Presentation on waste collection and recycling in the District.




The Committee received a presentation on the Food Waste and Recycling Initiatives being undertaken by the team.


Great British Spring Clean initiative 2 - 4 March 2018.  This had to be re-scheduled due to snow but still 22 community groups took part.  They were supported by the loan of litter pickers and provided with bag containers.


Communications.  In the form of Calendars, guides, stickers and targeted information for flats.  They were also receiving questions on Twitter and could respond quickly to these.


Digital.  There has been an increase in traffic on the website and now 40% of contact was coming this way.  They were constantly trying to make information easier to find for residents.  There is also a new Waste Wizard which was set up by Fighting Food Waste using a DCLG fund.  This helps residents identify the correct bin for their waste item.


Food Waste.  There has been a 45% increase in food waste collected since the change to allow plastic bags to be put in the food bin.  There has also been an increase in food caddy orders during the recent promotion.


In the community.  The team had been out during the Christmas period using competitions to engage with the public, into schools to run recycling workshops and attended a Freshers Fayre.


The team were nominated for Larac team of the year.


The team were asked where the waste collected was going.  It was advised that the information was within the public domain as it had to be reported using a Defra tool.  Plastic collected was a commodity and markets changed over time, particularly now with the change in Chinese regulations.  It was agreed that figures for the last quarter results could be provided for Members.  Most recycling was destined for European reprocessing plants but some would be going elsewhere.


The team were also asked about the promise of street wardens to engage with the community that had been discussed when the contract was first agreed.  The Community Champions scheme hadn’t been implemented and there had been no follow-up as there had been other issues initially.


There was a request for households that used blue bags (because wheelie bins were unsuitable) to have free replacements.  It was felt that the charge was a discouragement for recycling and unfair to these households.

The team were told about a company in Gretna Green that converted plastic bottles into pellets that could be used in mending the roads.  Members were reminded that the recycling materials were owned by the contactor under the waste contract and they could make their own arrangements to sell the plastic waste.


With regard to batteries, the collection teams often failed to replace the plastic bags for them but they could be taped to the top of a wheelie bin using any plastic bag.




1.      To note the recycling initiatives undertaken.

2.      To request a report on the current destination of collected plastic.

3.      To request a further report outlining the destination of collected recycled materials over recent years.