Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Council’s Waste and Recycling Manager (copy enclosed) which seeks the Committee to examine the progress made to date with the project, and seeks its views on a suite of household waste and recycling policies.


11am – 11.50am


The Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment along with the Head of Highways and Environmental Services and the Waste and Recycling Service Manager guided members through the report (previously circulated). It was stressed that the waste model agenda item had been presented previously to the committee and officers were keen to keep members up to date and informed of the progress with the work. The Lead Member stated the waste model was first discussed back in December 2018 due to financial pressures faced by the authority.

The Head of Highways and Environmental Services confirmed the reason for the report was to inform members at what stage the development and delivery of the new model was, and the works that had occurred since last presenting to the committee. A lot of work had taken place and a great deal of progress made. The new depot in Denbigh, located on the Colomendy Industrial Estate was a key development part of the project. The benefits of the project had been made clear at a recent site visit. These included benefits to existing businesses on the estate – in developing the land used for the depot the Council had been able to unlock a piece of land to the rear of a number of existing private businesses which had then opened up an opportunity for those businesses to expand.  This opportunity was welcomed by all.


Members were provided with a review of each of the appendices provided for members’ consideration and information.


In response to Committee members’ questions the Lead Member and officers provided the following details:   

·         Included within the report at appendix 2.b was a table that highlighted the proposed changes to the current Domestic Waste Collection policies.  If the Committee agreed to the suggested changes the new policies would be approved via the delegated decision process by March 2022;

·         The financial aspects of running the blue (co-mingled recycling) and black (residual waste) bin service had begun to be unviable. Communication with residents to explain the reasoning behind the new model and help them understand why it was being introduced would be vital for the implementation of the new model;

·         The reasons for changing the model and system had been debated at length before making the decision to change. The benefits had been highlighted in appendix 5. The current model was not financially or environmentally sustainable;

·         Officers had looked at and learnt from authorities already using similar models for recycling and waste systems;

·         The new model would allow staff to gain new knowledge and progress and expand experiences. It will also enable more staff to be employed at all different levels;

·         The aim for the textile collection was for it to be made available across the whole county either by co-options or by DCC collectors. Members heard that pre-covid, funding had been secured from Welsh Government to extend the textile collection to more households in the county but had been delayed due to the pandemic.  It was hopeful it would resume as the economy recovered;

·         As part of the roll out, over 44,000 households would be issued with the trolley box. Officers felt that a cardboard sack was best suited for recycling and would be issued to households. Additional recycling containers could be purchased or extra sacks could be provided;

·         It was confirmed a slight delay had been observed in procuring the electric vehicles. It was stressed it would not delay the implementation of the new system;

·         The cost to dispose of waste in black bins was higher than for sending recycling items away. The more items recycled as opposed to put in the black bin would save more money. Hence the importance of educating residents on recycling. All new black bins and the trolleys were manufactured from recycled materials.  They were also recyclable (apart from the flaps on the boxes);

·         Assisted collections would still continue under the new model;

·         Officers felt there was a need for charges for bin replacements. Members heard charges were currently in place for replacement bins under the current model. As part of the roll out of the new model all initial bins issued would be free of charge and a 12-month period for people to request alternative or different bins. Downsizing bins would be free of charge;

·         A contract with the current gate fee for recycling the authoritiy’s waste was in place until the date proposed to introduce the new model;

·         The term textiles referred to any item of clothing or cloth materials. Co-options would reuse and sell any items they could, alternatively anything that could not be reused or sold was sent to be recycled. Co-options did offer a kerbside collection mainly in the North of the county at present;

·         The bin microchips would ascertain to which property the bin belonged. It would allow officers to identify any issues e.g. missing bins, empty properties or households not using their bins. It was not for surveillance of items in bins. The ‘Keep up with the Jones’ scheme launched in 2019 started the process of assisting and educating residents about recycling.

·         The wording of un-adopted roads within the policy was not changing. Officers felt it was a policy that would need to be reviewed when the model was implemented;

·         A small trial was scheduled to start in West Rhyl in February 2022 involving microchipped bins.  Its results could be reported back to members. It was proposed to just microchip the black bins and sacks at present. There was a number of different options that could be issued to residents and officers were happy to assess the needs of residents;

·         The Environmental Protection Act provided guidance for both residents and businesses to follow. It provided information for the authority to enforce actions. An enforcement contract with District Enforcement was in place for litter patrols and dog fouling patrols.

·         It was proposed to undertake an elected member ‘standard service’ experience during February and March 2022.  This would provide members who currently used the blue/black bin kerbside service to experience the new service for eight weeks.  Members’ feedback of using the ‘new’ service would be useful to plan for the full rollout of the service in due course.


The Chair thanked the officers and Lead Member for the detailed response to members’ concerns and questions.


Having considered the detailed information presented to members and following and in-depth discussion on its contents the Committee:


Resolved: - subject to the above observations –


(i)   to note the progress made to date by Project Team delivering the new Waste and Recycling Service to residents by summer 2023;

(ii) to endorse the suite of household waste and recycling policies (included at Appendix II to the report) and note the Head of Highways and Environmental Services’ intention to ensure that the policies be adopted through the delegated decision process by March 2022; and

(iii)                request that the Head of Highways and Environmental Services submits a future report to Communities Scrutiny Committee on the outcomes of the pilot projects in West Rhyl (use of microchips in waste containers), Bron y Crêst (communal bin service change) and the Elected Members Recycling Experience initiatives.


Supporting documents: