Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Project Manager (copy enclosed) which seeks Members’ observations on the progress made to date with the planned implementation of the new waste service model.

11.45 A.M- 12.30 P.M



Prior to the commencement of the business item the Corporate Director:  Environment and Economy advised the Committee that the introduction of the new service was in line with the Welsh Government’s (WG) blue print service model.  He also advised that new depot under construction from where the new Service model would operate did not form part of the report under discussion at the current meeting.  A report on the depot was due to be presented to Cabinet later that month with a report proposed for Scrutiny later in the year.


The Strategic Planning Project Manager outlined the details of the New Waste Service Implementation report (previously circulated) to the Committee.


The new `Kerbside Sort` model to collect household recycling waste would commence in March 2024. Recycling collections would change from a fortnightly service to a weekly service. This would provide households with increased capacity for recycling. Residents would be provided with a new trolley box unit and an additional sack for cardboard. The trolley box unit allowed for the sorted collection of household recycling such as glass, plastic, tins/cans, paper and cardboard.


The residual waste change would commence in early Summer 2024 following the introduction of the kerbside sort system. This would allow residents to become familiar with the new recycling system and demonstrate the impact on reduced residual waste. Residual waste collection would be changing from a fortnightly collection to a 4 weekly collection. Households would be provided with larger residual waste bins to increase capacity by 33.3%, from 180 litres to 240 litres.


The Strategic Planning Project Manager continued to explain the implementation of the new Waste Collection Service.  Its introduction would be supported by a robust communication and engagement exercise with the county’s residents.


There were approximately 45,000 households who would require a new trolley box unit in readiness for the switch to kerbside sort in March 2024. Deliveries to households would commence in November 2023, with completion expected in late February 2024. Deliveries would take place Monday- Friday with an average of 800 deliveries per day. It was stressed that the assembly and delivery of the new kerbside units was a significant undertaking requiring significant resource. The new service required an increase in operatives to serve the new rounds. The new operatives would be phased in from September 2023 in tranches to support the roll out activities, such as assembling trolley boxes and delivering new containers. Members were directed to a plan of the roll out previously circulated in Appendix 1. Members and residents would receive further communication on the area roll outs from late Summer 2023.


Food and garden waste collections would remain the same, food waste would continue to be collected weekly and garden waste fortnightly. The new recycling service would include, and extended textile collection service and new collections would be introduced for small electrical items and batteries.  A new Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) collection would be introduced from September 2023. It was expressed that with this being a new service, demand was relatively unknown, but it was estimated that approximately 8% of residents were likely to sign up to the service. This service would be free however, residents would need to sign up to the service.


The Strategic Planning Project Manager explained that the roll out of the new Recycling System was supported by the Communications Team and they were working closely together to ensure that residents were given regular updates and information on the new system to ensure the implementation was as efficient as possible.


The Chair thanked the Strategic Planning Project Manager for her report and questions were welcomed from Members.


A discussion took place between Members and the following concerns were raised:-

·       Due to the enormity of the change to the recycling system in the County, it would be beneficial if the Team attended City, Town and Community Council (CTCC) meetings to explain how the new trolley units worked.

·       There were a significant number of residents who were still on black bin bags only collections and questions were asked regarding if they would be able to access the new trolley units.

·       It was highlighted that more detailed communication with residents would be needed, this could involve education in schools.

·       Concerns were raised around the period it would take to reach the Welsh Governments target of recycling 70% of household waste.

·       In the report there was reference to Electric vehicles being implemented on new rounds. Members questioned the efficiency of these.

·       Currently all household waste was collected on a specific day of the week, concerns were raised regarding the new collections stated in the report.

·       Concerns around the trolley units blowing over were raised and that they may become a target for vandalism.

·       In regard to the AHP Service, concerns were raised around how discreet this service would be. It was highlighted that many residents may not sign up to the service due to being too embarrassed to do so.

·       With the residual bin not being collected for 4 weeks pet waste would be lingering in the bin for 4 weeks which would smell and possibly attract vermin.

Officers thanked Members for their questions and the following responses were given:-

·       A request for the Roll Out Communications Plan to be consider by Scrutiny had already been submitted to the Scrutiny Chairs and Vice-Chairs Group (SCVCG), as it was important that the roll out was clear to Members in order for them to promote it with their residents.

·       Many more properties in Denbighshire would be able to have a trolley box unit compared to the number who had the current co-mingled blue bin due to new smaller electric vehicles being able to access streets/properties and the overall size of the trolley units.

·       There would be a continuously updated schedule of activity in the Communications Plan prior to March 2024 and discussions were ongoing around educational establishments being involved.

·       The Project Manager undertook to explore potential opportunities for the 3rd sector to be involved with the communication/engagement plan with a view to securing that the information about the changes reached and was understood by hard to reach individuals and groups.

·       It would be difficult for the 70% target to be reached in the first year of the roll out of the new recycling system. There was a need to be realistic about hitting the 70% target but there were clear aspirations to reach this in the medium term.

·       New electric vehicles would be rolled out when the new recycling system was implemented. There had been reports of difficulties with the vehicles from other authorities however, these difficulties had been resolved.

·       Collection of waste from all households would remain on one specific day of the week.  This would avoid confusion.

·       Residents would be asked to put their trolley units out on the morning of their collection day and not the night before. Neighbouring Councils who had the trolley units in place had recorded very few complaints and were unaware of any vandalism.

·       Potential technological solutions were being explored with a view to securing a viable textile collection service, particularly in more rural areas.

·       The AHP containers were to be black and purple and were designed to be as discrete as possible. Research had been conducted on this and no complaints of embarrassment or stigma issues had been raised in council areas where they were already available.

·       Pet waste would continue to be placed in the residual waste bin and would be collected on a 4 weekly basis.

·       Workable container and storage solutions for non-standard properties were currently being explored.

·       Once implemented the revenue costs of operating the new service, including the costs of Prudential Borrowing, were estimated to be lower than the costs of operating the current model.

·       An assisted waste collection service would still be provided to those residents who required it and had registered for the service.

The Corporate Director Economy and Environment stated that the Waste Service Remodelling Project was the biggest Service change in the history of Denbighshire County Council. It was going to be a major challenge for everyone involved and working together and communication was key to having a successful roll out of the new Recycling Collection Service.  Elected members had an extremely important role to play in communicating the changes to residents.


The Chair thanked the Officers for the detailed report and thanked them for their continued hard work on the project. Future continual updates were welcomed by the Chair and Members.



At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:


Resolved:  subject to the above observations


(i)             to note the progress achieved to date with the implementation of the new service model;

(ii)           endorse the future activities identified to be undertaken as part of the preparation for the roll-out of the new service; and

(iii)         having as part of its consideration read, understood and taken account of the Well-being Impact Assessment (Appendix 2) requests that the Impact Assessment be regularly reviewed and updated as the project progresses.

Supporting documents: