Waste Bin Placement and Renewal Programme
- Meeting of Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 2nd December, 2021 2.00 pm (Item 31.)
To receive a presentation on the progress of the Waste Bin Placement and Renewal
The Chairman introduced the Contracts Manager, Scott Williams, and Service Designer, Louise Oddy.
Mr Williams addressed the Committee and shared a presentation on the Waste Bin Placement and Renewal Programme.
The Chairman thanked Mr Williams and invited Councillors to comment or ask questions of Mr Williams or Louise Oddy, remembering to focus on the Policy and not local issues.
Councillor Fenton asked who paid for the bins to be emptied, WODC or the Town Council. Mr Williams clarified that WODC was responsible for the adopted highway but if the land was owned by the Parish, or was the responsibility of the Parish, it would fall to them to maintain. However, he noted that as part of this service moving forward, WODC would offer this service to the Parish Council.
Councillor Goodwin enquired how long the gap was between removal of the old bin and installation of a new bin. He also queried if, where sites were busy, was there a plan to issue more recycling bins. Louise Oddy explained that at the beginning of the programme there had been a resource issue where ten members of staff were off sick with Covid on the same day. However, the programme got back on track and the gap between removal and replacement was usually two days.. As for the recycle bins, these were not being issued anymore as they were not properly used, and were mixed contaminated.
Councillor StJohn asked if the timetables for collection had changed, as some bins seem to be full. Louise Oddy confirmed that this would be reviewed at a meeting in January where all collections were going to be looked at. The review would include seasonal timetables where bins were fuller in summer and less so in winter, different routes would be planned and highlighted that Parish councils could request more frequent pickups. Mr Williams also confirmed that there was no decrease in resource, therefore Ubico had capacity, if there was a need to target bins more frequently.
Councillor McBride enquired about the consultation process and asked if there was a reduction in the number of bins at the Country Park. Louise Oddy explained that she and Councillor MacRae had visited the Country Park several times, and there was no reduction of bins. However, the location of the new bins may have been moved to convenient spots, where they were most needed. Councillor McBride also asked about bad aromas at key locations, particularly bus stops and play areas. Louise Oddy confirmed that only litter bins would be located at these areas, and dog waste bins would be located at positions where they were needed. At the January review meeting these issues were to be looked at especially in the summer months where key locations would have more frequent pickups.
Councillor Rylett commented that there were still recycle bins in situ and queried if there were some locations where recycling works. Mr Williams confirmed that once the replacement programme had been completed, there would be no recycle bins only the new ones, due to the contamination issues. However, there was no reason why they couldn’t come back to looking at recycling at a later stage in the process, after the replacement programme was completed. Another tool being considered was electronic chips inside the bins that would read how full it was, resulting in targeted pick-ups.
Councillor Eaglestone raised concerns about the policy of the numbers of bins installed on newest sites, and how this was being managed, particularly the Windrush new estate. Mr Williams and Louise Oddy confirmed that at the moment the developers had to come to WODC and say how many bins they would like to install at the site. They were aware of the play park bin on that site was deemed to be too small, and were looking to replace this with a larger bin. Discussions were in place to improve the process to ensure that bin numbers were agreed with developers at the planning stage, so that no extra bins are installed putting a burden on the Council for pickups once the estate was completed and in use. Need to be strict with the developers to only put the number of bins agreed, there is a mechanism for a recourse to charge back, but it is better to stop this before it gets to that stage.
Councillor Postan also wanted to know about communication and information to the Parish Councils and the public, especially about one particular issue, the Country Parks. Louise Oddy confirmed the name of the Parish Council contact, and confirmed she met on site and walked the village only last week where there were these issues, and agreed quite swiftly where bins would be located. Ubico were starting the replacements today, and would complete tomorrow. Louise to share the emails with Councillor Postan.
Councillor Dent enquired if all bin locations were known. Officers confirmed that Ubico had a device that took a picture of which automatically populated their maps with the location.
Councillor Coles commented on the overflowing of bins near bus stops which he felt should be a priority and asked that his thanks be passed to the team because whenever he had reported an issue, this had been swiftly picked up and cleared.
Councillor Fenton wanted assurances about location of bins near to cafés and benches when, in the summer months, bad aromas and flies were a problem, perhaps accelerating the empting of the bins, even if they were not full. Miss Oddy confirmed that bins would be strategically placed, for example not next to benches where people may want to sit and eat. She advised that consultation helped when making decisions on where bins were located.
Councillor StJohn asked about the planning of two new housing estates where there were no plans for siting bins. Louise Oddy confirmed that this was not unusual, a bin would be placed at the playground but that typically, bins were not put on housing estates. Mr Williams referred to the Cabinet report which included details of a study by Herefordshire County Council where bins were taken away from housing estates, resulting in no increase in litter.
Mr Williams also stated that the kerbside recycling units within the District were working well and being used regularly.
Councillor Postan enquired if all Parish Councils were paying for their bin collections. Mr Williams confirmed there were two sets of figures that they had, and that at January’s review they would be looking at these figures closely.
The Chairman thanked Miss Oddy and Mr Williams for attending and answering Members questions.
Resolved the presentation be noted.