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Waste Collection Policy

Published: 17/04/2015

Flintshire County Council’s revised Waste Collection Policy, which has been devised to further improve its performance and deliver essential savings, will be discussed by Cabinet on Tuesday (21 April). Current figures for 2015/16 indicate an overall recycling rate of 58%, which is a record year for Flintshire. To ensure that performance continues to improve and also to deliver the essential financial saving measures needed as part of the County Council’s challenge to find efficiencies in the coming financial year, a number of changes are being introduced to the policy. These include: Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) The Council currently provides seven HRCs across the County. The HRCs are an area of the service where recycling performance is below the national average. The Council’s larger HRCs perform much better than those with limited space as they can offer a greater number of recycling opportunities. Some of the Council’s existing sites are not large enough to provide a full service and, in an effort to improve overall performance by directing users to the larger sites, Hope Recycling Centre, which is its lowest performing site with the least footfall, will close on 1 June 2015. An option to restrict the site at Hope to receive recycled material only would improve performance but would cost approximately £125,000 a year to operate. Similarly, if the site remained open at weekends only, this figure would be approximately £80,000 a year. Residents who currently use Hope HRC will be able to use either Mold or Buckley HRC as an alternative. The area will be closely monitored for fly tipping and action taken against offenders if evidence is found. On the same basis Connah’s Quay and Flint Household Recycling Centres will open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday only from 1 June 2015, which reflects the higher footfalls at these sites on these days. The remaining sites at Mold, Buckley, Sandycroft and Greenfield will see increased staff numbers, whose role will be to promote a recycling first ethos. Additional recycling skips will be introduced to replace general waste skips, because all waste brought to the HRCs will be inspected to ensure recycling is maximised. The current van permit scheme will see stricter rules applied. Missed Bin Collections The County Council carries out up to 264,000 waste and recycling collections every week. Inevitably a small number of collections can be missed. These can either be missed by the collection crew, but many are because residents have not placed their waste out on time, or have presented the wrong bin for collection. The cost of returning for these bins creates a significant financial burden for the service. From June 1 this year, new arrangements will be in place. These will include the introduction of a ‘charge hand’ on each main collection round, whose responsibility will include signing off each road or street electronically once the waste collection has been completed. The County Council will no longer return for collections reported missed once a street has been signed off. Residents will be asked to use the nearest HRC or place their waste out on the next scheduled collection day. Garden Waste Service: Charging for additional brown bins: As there is no statutory duty to provide a garden waste collection, many local authorities in both England and Wales are now charging their residents for the collection of all garden waste. However, as the garden waste collections contribute significantly to the Council’s overall recycling performance and the service is widely valued by customers, Flintshire County Council will continue to collect one brown bin. However, for any additional bins that residents present, an annual charge will be introduced from 1 June this year. In addition, the Council will be reducing its collection window for garden waste from 1 March to 30 November, as many residents do not use the service over the winter period. This will be introduced from 1 December 2015. There will be no changes to the frequency of Black bin, recycling and food collections. Bulky waste collections The Council currently provides a subsidised bulky waste collection service which costs around £200,000 a year. There is a small charge of £15 to the customer, to collect up to five items, with residents on benefits and pension receiving the service free of charge. A revised charging arrangement is being introduced which will more accurately reflect the cost of delivering the service, and which will be reviewed annually. The charge for 2015-16 will be £30 and £10 for residents receiving benefits. Replacement of recycling containers The County Council has previously delivered replacement recycling containers directly to the resident’s door. From May 1, containers, such as the blue box and the recycling bags, will still be provided free of charge, but residents will need to collect them from a network of sites across the County. Direct to door deliveries will still continue for those registered as needing an assisted collection, as will deliveries of wheeled bins both brown and black. Cessation of Trade Waste Collection Service The Council will no longer offer a Trade Waste Collection Service but will provide a list of suitable suppliers to businesses, if required. A normal residential collection service will be provided free of charge to all places of worship in the County and to schools. 7 day collections During the Summer, the Council will increase the number of properties collected on a Saturday along with a small number of rural properties having collections introduced on a Sunday. This follows the launch of six day collections for waste and recycling in November 2011. The service has provided significant savings in fleet costs and has been well received by residents in the areas where it has been introduced. Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Waste Strategy, Public Protection and Leisure, said: “We are always grateful to our residents for their continued commitment in recycling their waste. The level of recycling collected through our weekly kerbside collections means that the county is in the top quartile in Wales, but we must continue to work hard to increase our recycling performance. The Waste Collection Policy has been revised as part of our challenge to find significant financial savings and making these changes will further strengthen our position as a leading authority in Wales.”