To consider Report No. OS2107 (copy attached), which sets out a proposal for the introduction of a weekly food waste collection service.
Presented By:Cllr Maurice Sheehan, Operational Services Portfolio Holder
The Cabinet considered Report No. OS2107, which set out a proposal to introduce a weekly food waste collection service and make associated changes to other waste collection services. The Chairman welcomed the Leader of the Labour Group (Cllr Christine Guinness), who had requested to address the Cabinet on this issue.
Members were reminded that, at its meeting on 10th November, 2020, the Cabinet had approved the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan that had been prepared in response to the Climate Emergency that had been declared by the Council in summer, 2019. A key action within the Climate Change Action Plan had been to set up a separate food waste collection service. Subsequently, the Cabinet had set up a cross-party working group to guide the project and to make recommendations on the operational detail for the service. The Group had met several times and the Report set out recommendations that had been unanimously supported by the members of the Group. Members were informed that the Group’s recommendations provided details of how the proposals met the Council’s climate change objectives and also considered how the Council might comply with the Government’s forthcoming Resources and Waste Strategy, which required Councils’ recycling performance in England to be 65% of municipal waste by 2035. The Cabinet was reminded that the Council’s recycling rate in 2019/20 had been 29.6%.
The Cabinet heard from Cllr Guinness, who expressed support from the Labour Group to the proposals contained within the Report. Cllr Guinness detailed a number of concerns that had been received from residents regarding the proposals. In response to Cllr Guinness’ comments it was confirmed that residents would be able to make an online request to upgrade from a 140 litre capacity bin to a 240 litre one. It was further confirmed that the larger, outside food waste caddies would be lockable and that any requests for additional bins would be investigated by Council officers, with a home visit being likely. Members were informed that flats and properties with communal bins would be assessed on a case-by-case basis in order to work out the best solution for each site. It was also confirmed that the Council would continue to work with the County Council to seek to broaden the range of items that could be accepted in recycling bins.
In discussing the proposals, the Cabinet expressed strong support for the suggested approach and stressed the importance of good communications to help residents to move smoothly to the new arrangements.