COUNCIL PROPOSALS FOR CHANGES TO REFUSE COLLECTION - SURVEY RESULTS AND OUR QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL.
The Council has laid out proposals to change the frequency and the way in which refuse is collected across the borough, including the Apostles area. As a reminder, the plans are to change the frequency of refuse collection so that household waste and recycling boxes are collected fortnightly but separately on alternate weeks. Food waste will continue to be collected on a weekly basis. Wheelie bins will be rolled out to households in the borough and there will be up to five containers for different waste.
This is a major change and we recently polled residents to get their views on the proposed changes. Nearly 100 residents responded and overwhelmingly 90% of residents are against the introduction of wheelie bins and the changes to the frequency of collection. In response to the results of the survey and comments made by residents, we have written to the Council outlining the opinions of ARA residents and have asked the Council for answers to a series of questions including:
Unfortunately it is likely that changes, in some form, will be made to our refuse collection. Therefore, in our letter we have made suggestions to the Council to: introduce smaller or more aesthetically pleasing refuse containers; update the design of the recycling boxes so that rubbish is better contained; provide a solution to the disposal of sanitary waste if collections are to be fortnightly.
Thank you to everyone that took part in the survey and who provided comments and questions. We will update everyone once we receive a response from the Council by email and on www.apostlesra.co.uk .
REPONSE FROM MERTON COUNCIL
From: Charles Baker <Charles.Baker@merton.gov.uk>
Sent: 19 January 2017 16:05
Cc: Councillor Ross Garrod; WSG Correspondence
Subject: Apostles resident Association - 14114622
Dear L Russell c/o Chair of Apostles Residents Association
Re – Proposed changes to refuse collection
Thank you for your e mail dated the 5th January regarding the proposed changes to waste collection and the finding from your survey conducted on behalf of the Apostles Resident Association. (APR)
The introduction of wheelie bins and the effective containerisation of waste along with the changes in frequency of collection offers a number of benefits including the encouragement to use the food waste service. Better quality recyclables along with a reduction of general waste leading to an increased recycling level overall.
It is recognised that the approach to waste collection cannot necessarily be a “one size fits all” approach and that different container types and sizes will need to be appropriate for the property type. However, in order for collection processes to be as lean and efficient as possible standardisation will be required and any variation from the standard process would require justifiable reasons. Acceptable criteria to vary from the “norm” should be agreed in advance of any service being rolled out
For properties, such as terraced housing where there are no front gardens in which to present the wheelie bin the Blue and Purple recycling sack collection will be retained with the revised frequency of collection.
Maisonettes will need to be reviewed on a case by case bases as many maisonettes have side access and front gardens suitable to store the wheelie bins. Where this is not the case then different arrangements will need to be agreed.
We will not be expecting residents to manoeuvre the wheelie bins onto the pavements on collection day. The planned new service will maintain the current curtilage collection approach rather than introduce a kerbside collection system. This is to ensure that our pavements are kept clear of refuse containers restricting access for pushchair / wheelchair users. This requires householders to set out waste bins within the confines of their property as close to the edge as possible. As part of our monitoring process and to ensure high collection standards are maintained, the waste crews will be required to return containers back to the curtilage of properties
It is acknowledged that the use of wheelie bins is a slower operation than that of black sacks. This is due to crew members being required to return the bin back to the point of collection. However, it is safer and cleaner and encourages more recycling.
The efficiency is achieved by providing sufficient capacity to enable alternate weekly collections for general waste and using split bodied vehicles for the weekly collection of food waste and recycling waste streams. This results in a reduction in the number of collection vehicles required. Moving towards a wheelie bin service allows us to reduce the individual crew size from 4 down to 3 operatives, including the driver, delivering additional efficiencies.
With reference to consultation, there is no statutory duty to consult on changes to these services. The decisions have been made by Cabinet under the authority delegated to them. It is not usual to consult on this type of service before the specification is formed as there are often so many different opinions from a wide variety of stakeholders that it makes it very difficult to put a specification that satisfies everyone.
Legislation under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, a waste collection authority can serve a legal notice on a household that does not comply with the system of waste collection provided. Within this legislation the council has the power to determine the type of containers to be used to collect household waste. If a household does not comply with the waste collection service provided by the council, they may be issued with a Section 46 notice instructing them how to store, dispose of and present their waste for collection.
With reference to the need to communicate changes to waste collection it is important to note that the proposed changes come into effect in October 2018. Prior to rolling out the new service we will ensure that a robust communication strategy is implemented, which will provide a framework for all communication and engagement activities. This will include updating the Environment page on the council’s website and outlining the changes to waste collection. To date we have issued press statements in the local Guardian newspaper, provided updates on our Council web page and also run articles in the latest addition of ‘My Merton’. For quick reference I have provided Hyperlinks to related articles.
My Merton Autumn issue – page 12 - https://mertonnews.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/my-merton-autumn-edition-final.pdf
Procurement of wheelie bins – our preferred bidder purchases approximately 180,000 containers each year across its UK operations, and is able to draw upon its economies of scale when procuring such products. This process is managed through the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CiPS) accredited central procurement department which ensures they can leverage significant buying power over the life of a contract. All containers procured within the Contract will be constructed to relevant British Standards
I trust the above address your concerns and provides broad summary of the key areas raised by APR , but please don’t hesitate to contact me direct if you require further clarification.
Please note that I have copied into this e mail Councillor Garrod who is the Councils lead Cabinet member representing this service area.
Strategy and Commissioning Manager
Environment & Regeneration
London Borough Merton
63-69 Amenity Way