Agenda item



The Committee considered a report on the Future Kerbside Waste Collection Strategy which was presented by the Executive Board Member for Environment.  The report provided the future options and route for future service delivery for the kerbside collection of waste and recycling.


The report provided information in relation to the considerations, measures, strategy options and sought the Committee’s opinions and views on the following service considerations:


· the move to weekly recycling collections;

· the change to three weekly restricted residual collections;

· the collection of glass at the kerbside;

· the collection methodology of recycling.


It was reported that one of the drivers for change was that whilst the current service model had enabled the Authority to exceed the statutory 64% target, further change was required to meet the 70% target from 2024/25 and the potential 80% target by 2030.


In addition to the report, the Committee received a supporting presentation delivered by the Environmental Services Manager on ‘Shaping the Future of Waste Collections in Carmarthenshire’.  The presentation provided information in relation to the considerations and covered the following:-


·       Performance

·       Challenges

·       Operational Challenges

·       Contamination

·       Policy

·       Beyond recycling

·       Welsh Government Waste Collections Blueprint

·       Kerbside vehicle

·       Recycling Service Options

·       Recycling frequency

·       Results and conclusions

·       Workforce and Public Engagement


The Committee noted that the service was no longer fit for purpose and as a consequence generated operational challenges.  In addition, it was reported that currently Carmarthenshire was the only Authority in Wales which does not deliver a weekly dry recycling service, or collect glass at the kerbside.


In relation to the methodology, the Blueprint (Kerbsort) collection methodology was the only collection method which could potentially achieve Welsh Government funding subsidy.


The following issues/questions were raised on the report:


·       It was commented that the proposed new kerbside glass collection would reduce the requirement for glass centre recycling points which was increasingly being utilised as a location for fly-tipping.


·       In response to a concern raised in relation to the change in frequency from weekly to fortnightly collection of nappies and incontinence waste, the Waste Services Manager explained that all Absorbent Hygiene Product clients would be contacted and their needs assessed with the potential to provide with wheeled bins if necessary.  It was reported that potentially there were 16,000 AHP clients and the cost of weekly collections would be significant.


·       It was asked, which methodology was the preferred option?  The Waste Services Manager stated that it was a matter for the Committee and the Council to explore and agree on the preferred method.  However, in relation to cost it was highlighted that the Blueprint (Kerbsort) collection methodology was the only collection method that could potentially achieve Welsh Government funding subsidy.  In addition, the Blueprint collection proposal offered the greatest carbon benefit.


·       In relation to the glass kerbside collection service, a concern was raised that boxes of glass left at the kerbside would encourage vandalism.  The Director of Environment stated that interference in waste was present despite the method used.  However, there was a need to be alert to such incidences and in order to manage this, clear communication was necessary and implement appropriate management of those areas where vandalism occurs.


·       In response to a query raised in relation to the size of the Blueprint Kerbsort collection vehicle, the Environmental Services Manager explained that to compliment the larger vehicles, smaller vehicles would be available to make collections within rural areas.  In response to a further query regarding the suitability of the small vehicles in rural areas for use on narrow roads, the Environmental Services Managers reported that the use of smaller vehicles in restricted areas had been successful in other Authorities.


·       A query was raised in relation to the capacity of the independent compartments located within the Blueprint Kerbsort Collection vehicle used to keep materials separated and what would happen should one compartment reach its maximum capacity before the others?  The Environmental Services Manager acknowledged that this was likely to occur particularly in the case of cardboard, therefore it would be necessary to undertake a thorough design of the methodology and its operation prior to any commencement.


·       Concern was raised that should the collection of black bags be reduced to one a week this could encourage an increase in contamination.  The Environmental Services Manager explained that an initial kerbside sort would be carried out by the collection operatives, any identified cross contamination would be managed by way of a letter of an explanation to the householder providing the reasons for non-collection, with the offending waste being left.


·       The Environmental Services Manager, in response to a query regarding a consultation process confirmed that a full public and staff consultation process seeking views and comments would be carried out accordingly.


·       In relation to the close proximity of some properties, it was commented that collection boxes could present an issue regarding space on the kerbside.  The Environmental Services Manager explained that there were a number of options of what the design of the kerbside sort containers would be.  An example of which could be the provision of a stacked trolley style and possibly an introduction of communal pickup points both of which would work to minimise the spread of waste containers on the kerbside.


·       In response to a concern raised regarding reduction of black bag collections the Head of Waste and Environmental Services explained that in excess of 40% of the contents of black bag waste was recyclable and if households managed waste recycling successfully, 3 weekly collections should suffice.


·       A concern was raised regarding the probability of the County experiencing an increase in fly-tipping due to the reduction in black bag collections.  The Environmental Services Manager stated that in terms of service change and to reduce instances of fly tipping additional staff resources would be in place to manage communications, public engagement and enforcement.


·       In response to a comment regarding the placement of and the length of time dog/cat waste within black bags prior to collection, the Director of Environment appreciated that this matter could be become unpleasant and therefore would explore how other Authorities had managed this issue with a view to incorporating an appropriate solution into the design of the future system.


UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND that the Executive Board continue to develop and consult on appropriate delivery options to meet the statutory targets and address challenges as contained within the report.


Supporting documents: