Talking West Cheshire

Residents help shape new waste collection service

21 September 2010

Recycling and waste binsCheshire West and Chester’s Executive is to consider its options for instructing companies tendering for a new borough-wide waste collection service.

Senior Environment Officers are recommending that the authority instructs waste companies to submit solutions for a weekly collection of kitchen waste, whilst providing fortnightly collections for all other recyclable material and the remaining household refuse.

The Executive will consider further officer recommendations to ensure that any new waste collection service includes systems which collect a wide range of recyclable materials and kitchen waste recycling containers that are user-friendly, hygienic and minimise smells.

Robust systems to address key customer service issues identified in the consultation and ensuring that the widest possible range of households can receive the full standard collection service will also be considered.

The recommendations follow more than 21,000 responses from households across West Cheshire to the Council’s call for residents to have their say on a future waste collection service.

The consultation covered views on the types of materials to be recycled, weekly versus fortnightly collection, container design and key customer service issues like returning bins properly after collection.

The results of the consultation will be considered by the Executive on 29 September. Members will discuss and decide on the specific directions to be given to the bidding companies to ensure that both residents’ views, and those of the authority, are represented in the design of a new waste collection contract for the borough, to start in 2012.

Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Community and Environment, said: “I am delighted that so many people took the time to let us know their thoughts about the future of recycling and waste collection.

“This service affects us all and receiving so many replies makes the consultation representative so that we can be confident in designing and delivering the type of service that our residents are looking for.

“The consultation results show us that there is a huge appetite across West Cheshire for recycling more materials. In addition to materials such as paper, glass, cans, plastic packaging, cardboard and tetra paks, nearly 70 percent of residents also picked out kitchen waste as important to recycle.”

Overall 60 percent of respondents preferred the option of alternate weekly collection of non-recyclable waste. The majority chose this option regardless of whether they lived in terraced or detached properties. Of the 31 percent that preferred the weekly collection option, fears that alternate weekly collection would result in smells and hygiene issues were cited.

Currently around a third of the rubbish put into non-recyclable waste bins is food waste from kitchens which, if collected separately, could be recycled instead of being sent to landfill.

Councillor Riley added: “Our Love Food Hate Waste campaign highlighted that the average family throws away hundreds of pounds worth of food each year, so a new service of this kind could be a chance to join forces and help both residents and the council save money.”

One of the potential solutions before the executive will be to recycle this material on a weekly basis - removing the main potential source of smells from our non-recyclable waste bins.

A weekly collection of the kitchen waste component of non-recyclable waste bins could potentially achieve savings on disposal costs, increase recycling rates and address concerns about smell and hygiene.

The Council has selected eight companies who will be invited to submit proposals for a new waste collection service that best meets the Council’s aims and takes the views of residents into account, with discussions beginning in October 2010.

Following two stages of refining and assessing bids the final preferred bidder will be announced in late summer 2011.    

For further information on the consultation results, or to see the full report, please visit the Single Waste Collection Consultation page.