Press Release from Cotswold District Council
Cotswold District Council’s Council will be discussing a motion on 26th February which calls for kerbside garden waste collections to continue during the winter. The planned switch from weekly to fortnightly collections, with effect from late autumn 2019, will go ahead but will be reviewed before the end of the 2019/20 annual licence period.
Councillors agreed late last year to suspend garden waste collections for a three month period during the winter, and supported the move from weekly to fortnightly collections. At that time the Council said it would consider reducing the cost of the service to offset the changes.
However, the motion calls for the garden waste licence fee to continue at £30 for 2019/20 in return for a continuation of collections all year round, albeit on a fortnightly basis. The whole arrangement would then be reviewed during March 2020.
Commenting on the motion, CDC Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Sue Coakley said: “I hope that the Council will support this motion because a lot of people have said that they would be happy to pay to retain the service over the winter, even if it means switching to fortnightly collections. If we peg the fee at £30 we would just about break even – at present this amount does not cover the cost of weekly collections and, as this is an optional service, it is important that we ensure the cost is not be borne by all residents. I must add that the annual £30 licence fee is still remarkably good value compared with other nearby authorities who charge more for collecting fortnightly.”
There has been a lot of debate in public about the proposed changes to the waste service. To clarify matters, the key points are as follows:
- Garden waste collections will continue on a weekly basis until we introduce a new fleet of vehicles towards the end of this year – probably during October or November – to replace most of our current vehicles. (These older vehicles are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and are liable to break down more frequently).
- Once the new fleet begins operations later this year, garden waste collections will move from a weekly to a fortnightly basis.
- Kerbside food collections will continue on a weekly basis, and, when the new fleet begins operations towards the end of this year, residents will be provided with bigger more robust animal-proof caddies for their food waste.
- When the larger more durable food caddies are introduced towards the end of the year, residents must refrain from placing food waste in their garden waste bins.
- Separating food from garden waste will enable us to begin using an anaerobic digester facility for more efficient – and environmentally friendly – reprocessing of food remains. Similarly, we will be able to process the garden waste using a far cheaper and more environmentally beneficial composting method. Additionally, making fortnightly garden waste collections will enable us to reduce our vehicle pollution levels and fuel usage.
- The new fleet of vehicles will allow us to introduce extra kerbside recycling options for the very first time – textiles, batteries, small electrical and electronic items and Tetrapak cartons. We will provide the appropriate containers for recycling these new items.
- Prior to the new vehicles being introduced later this year, we will review how waste rounds are organised to maximise the efficiency of collections across the District. This will result in a change to collection days for some residents and they will be informed well in advance of any change.
- Before any changes are introduced, we will send information to every household explaining how the new recycling arrangements will work.
National Update: On 18 February 2019, the Government set out plans for a major overhaul of the country’s waste system, through the launch of a suite of consultations. Building on commitments made in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018, the consultations provide detail on plans to (i) make packaging producers pay the full cost of dealing with their waste; (ii) introduce a consistent set of recyclable materials to be collected from all households and businesses; (iii) introduce consistent labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle; and (iv) to bring in a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for cans and bottles, subject to consultation. The proposals include separate weekly food waste collections for every household in England and could include free fortnightly garden waste collections for households with gardens.
On the same day, government also launched its consultation on introducing a world-leading tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content, subject to consultation, from April 2022. This will counter the use of new, non-recycled plastic material (which has greater environmental impact) because it is often a cheaper option.
The Government is seeking views on its plans over a 12 week period. The changes will then make up a key part of the government’s upcoming Environment Bill, to be introduced early in the second session of Parliament. Changes are envisaged over the period 2023-2025, and financial implications – including impacts on local authorities – are covered.