Changes ahead to enable greater recycling in the district.
New collection vehicles will expand our waste and recycling services
Members of Cotswold District Council have today agreed to procure new state-of-the-art collection vehicles which will come into service during the latter half of 2019. The new fleet will enable the Council to collect a much wider range of items; this means that residents will be able to recycle used textiles, household batteries, electrical and electronic equipment, and Tetrapak cartons at the kerbside for the first time. Additional service changes will be introduced, with the most noticeable being: the separation of food waste from garden waste collections to produce better quality recycled products in line with county-wide practices; provision of bigger and more robust household food caddies and cardboard recycling sacks; and a cross-party proposal to reduce the cost of garden waste licences to accommodate a switch to fortnightly collections and a three month suspension of the service during winter months.
The Councillors noted that current waste and recycling collection vehicles in the Cotswolds are coming to the end of their operational life and voted to replace the fleet on the grounds that it was a very sound strategic decision. Furthermore, they recognised that the newly procured vehicles will enable the introduction of an enhanced kerbside recycling service when they begin operations in the latter half of 2019.
The meeting also welcomed the proposed introduction of larger and more robust food caddies and cardboard recycling sacks, recognising the demand for these improvements during public consultations.
The councillors acknowledged that the change in garden waste collections from weekly to fortnightly - and the introduction of a three month suspension period during the winter months – was not ideal. However, this will offset the considerable cost of delivering this service which is currently heavily subsidised. When this change comes into effect, the waste service provider will be able to deploy some of the garden waste crews to other collection rounds, reducing the reliance on agency staff at crunch periods. Having this extra resource will also expedite catch-up collections at times when the service is disrupted due to adverse weather and other unforeseen delays. To compensate for this reduction in service, the Council will review the cost of garden waste licences with a view to reducing the price.
Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC Cabinet Member for Environment, reflects on the Council’s decisions,
“The procurement of a new fleet of vehicles is an essential move at a time when the current ones are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and there is an increasing risk of vehicle failure on the road. I am delighted that the more technically advanced models will enable us to meet residents’ requirements for a better kerbside collection service and I look forward to seeing an increase in our recycling totals once the new fleet is up and running. We consulted widely with the public and town, parish and district councillors earlier this year to get a better handle on customer needs, and I am very pleased that we are meeting so many of the priority requirements identified. In particular, when we asked about ways to increase recycling rates, many people asked us to introduce kerbside recycling for textiles, batteries, small electrical and electronic items and Tetrapak cartons and it is good to know that we will be offering this service when the new fleet arrives.
“I regret that the frequency of the paid for garden waste collections will decline, but a reduction in cost should compensate for this decision to a certain extent. I must emphasise that our garden waste service will continue to represent much better value for money compared with neighbouring authorities where it costs more than £40 for a fortnightly service. I trust that many people will continue to subscribe - in fact, our consultation showed that over 70% of residents would still use it in the event of a reduction in frequency.
“More generally, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our service review consultation – we received over 1300 responses from residents alone and they and the councillors we consulted made some excellent suggestions. Overall, the consultation highlighted the importance people attach to expanding our kerbside waste and recycling services so we can reduce the amount of waste and, in turn, help us keep down the cost of Council tax.”