Tackling the refuse and recycling collection bad weather backlog

The Council has announced that they are stepping-up their efforts to clear the backlog of both refuse and recycling across the district caused by the recent bad weather. The Council has allocated extra vehicles to help catch-up.

The Council’s current household advice is as follows:

Households are asked to put their waste out on their scheduled collection day. The Council will make every effort to collect it – crews are working exceptionally hard to clear the backlog.

Refuse crews will be operating on Saturday and Sunday 16th and 17th January to catch-up on an areas that were not collected on Friday. A small number of Recycling crews are operating on Saturday. The Council says it will do its best to collect any outstanding waste, but if it is not collected please take your waste back in and put it out on your next scheduled collection day.

Households who have not had their waste collected can use the Recycling Centres which have been open since Friday 8th January. Opening times are 8am – 4.15pm weekdays and 8am – 3.45pm on weekends. Further details are available on the Council website: www.bathnes.gov.uk/wasteservices

Logistical collection issues

Following the improvement in weather conditions, the Council and its recycling contractor May Gurney have allocated extra resources to clear the backlog caused by cancelled collections. The Council has an additional six refuse vehicles operating next week. The recycling contractor has an extra five vehicles working.

Because of the different types of vehicles used for refuse and recycling collections and the varying vehicle capacity for materials, this has resulted in some households experiencing their recycling being collected and not their refuse, and vice-versa. If this happens please put your waste out as normal on your usual waste collection day.

Please let Will and Shaun know if you are still experiencing an difficulties after this week.

Lib Dems call for action on food waste

Local Lib Dems are calling on the Conservative Council to begin a weekly collection of kitchen waste from April 2010. The Conservatives have repeatedly postponed the collection of kitchen waste from 2008 to the current implementation date of Autumn 2011.

Kitchen waste is soon to be collected weekly at kerbside across the old Avon area, except in B&NES. North Somerset Council has just decided to appoint May Gurney, the company that does B&NES’ recycling, to collect kitchen waste at kerbside.

Bath and North East Somerset is now the only old Avon authority not to collect kitchen waste. The Conservative administration here has deferred the start of kerbside collections from 2008 – the date originally planned by the Liberal Democrats – to Autumn 2011.

The budget for 2010/2011 has not yet been set, so there is still time to implement the collection of kitchen waste from April this year.

We used to be a leader nationally when it came to recycling, but even from a high base in 2004, it has lost ground over recent years to many other Councils through delaying the collection of kitchen waste.

This Conservative administration has had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards collecting kitchen waste and even then it will be a full three years later than was planned by the last administration.

Collecting kitchen waste is not only good for the environment, but it is cheaper than sending it to landfill, so in a Council which is making drastic cuts in its staff, surely there is a duty to make savings where it can.

Organic waste and cardboard collection problems

Due to staff shortages resulting from sickness and a vehicle breakdown in the afternoon, the collection teams were unable to finish all of the rounds today including the collection on Moorland Road, Crandale Road, and Livingstone Road.

The Council will endeavour to return to the following roads tomorrow, Saturday 1st August.

If you have any problems, please contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41.

70m radios will lose national stations after digital switchover

There are currently 68.4m analogue radios, in use in the UK, including 22.5m in cars, the Liberal Democrats have revealed. These radios will lose all national stations once the digital switchover is complete in 2015.

If all these radios were to be replaced with digital ones, it would cost around £3bn.

Commenting, Lib Dem Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, Don Foster said:

This figure shows the sheer scale of the radio switchover project. Even if people go for the cheapest digital radios, replacing this many analogue radios will cost people nearly £3bn. Financial help with TV switchover is being provided for the least well off. We need a similar scheme for switchover to digital radio. For those who will not qualify for such help, the real benefits of going digital must be explained clearly. We also need to plan what happens to the 70m unusable radios.

WASTE DAY CHANGE: Find out your new day online

You can find out now when your new waste collection day will be from the 8th June 2009. The Council has put information on its website about the new collection days through its new ‘My House’ information facility.

By typing in your postcode, residents can find out what new day of the week all their waste collections will be and register for regular alerts detailing other local information, like street works, planning applications, community facilities, and changes to Council services. Residents can log-on to www.bathnes.gov.uk/myhouse to find out more.

Further information about the changes is available now through various leaflets. This includes guidance on how people should put out their waste so it’s clear for the collection crews and other frequently asked questions. However, households will also be issued with a letter in the week commencing 25th May 2009 confirming which their new day will be from 8th June. Residents can also call Council Connect on 01225 394041 to find out their new day.

From the 8th June 2009, households across the district will put out their refuse, the green recycling box, and cardboard and garden waste on the same day – although the cardboard and garden waste will be collected every fortnight.

The Council is asking residents to put out their waste by 7am on the right day every week and to check which week their cardboard and garden waste will be collected as this may have changed from current arrangements. Collection times on each street will be different to what people are used to at the moment so its important waste is put out early so as not to miss the collection.

The Council is undertaking the change in direct response to residents who want a more convenient waste collection service and the need to meet the Council’s key priority of addressing the causes and effects of climate change.

Council implements Lib Dem waste policies

The announcement that the Council will be moving towards same-day collections and food waste collections is to be welcomed.

Councillors Sandry and McGall welcome the proposed introduction of food waste collection and the same day collection of waste and recycling. These are proposals which the Lib Dems initiated in the period 2005 to 2007 and we are pleased to see them moving towards implementation, albeit with some delay – the plans that Cllr Curren (Lib dem, Twerton) was working on would have brought in these new arrangements this Spring.

On the whole, same day collection will simplify things for residents who may currently have three different collection days. However there is also the downside that in some places it clutter on busy pavements or in important visitor areas could be a problem – Lib Dem Councillors will be asking the Cabinet how they plan to address this potential problem.

We will also be asking the Cabinet to reveal more details about of the timescale of the implementation or the details of how the food waste will be collected – for example, we will be wanting to know what type of vehicles will be used, where the food waste will be taken for composting (our waste should not be being transported long distances) and what will happen to the compost produced! We also want to know what equipment will be provided to residents – the Liberal Democrats believe that biodegradable liners for food bins and counter-top caddies would help ensure that the food waste collection is convenient and hygienic.

Zero Waste Week: Calling all Individuals and Community Groups

You may remember the Zero Waste Week that the Council held last year and the BBC family of five who reduced the amount they threw away to the equivalent of one yoghurt pot.

Following the success of the week, this year the Council is looking to invite local people and also community groups to take part and see how much you can reduce your waste over the course of a week.

Anyone can take part, either as an individual or a community group. The definition of a ‘community group’ is as broad as possible so this may range from the whole of Oldfield Park or school community through to a local group or association, street, block of flats or even a virtual community.

So far, over 20 groups have already expressed an interest in taking part. The aim of the week is to encourage as many people as possible to take up the challenge to see how much you can reduce what you throw away over the course of a week, by reducing, recycling and composting as much as they can.

The week will run from Monday 26 November to Sunday 2 December this year. If you are an individual or community group who would be interested in taking part or would like to find out more, please contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41 or email councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk

Recycle your old electrical goods

The Council has installed new facilities for residents to recycle any type of household electrical item. The Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations which came into force earlier this year means that any unwanted electrical product should now be re-used or recycled wherever possible and not disposed of to landfill.

The Council’s three Recycling Centres at Keynsham, Bath and Old Welton have been provided with recycling banks which will take a full range of large and small household electrical appliances from vacuum cleaners to hairdryers, from TVs to electric lawnmowers.

Cllr Sandry and Cllr McGall are pleased the Council is extending the range of materials local residents can recycle. The Council will be actively encouraging residents to keep their old electrical goods out of household waste bins and instead separating them for recycling.

Althought the new Tory-Controlled Council has set targets for recycling, the Liberal Democrats believe that we should be aiming for a zero waste situation.

To find out more about the WEEE regulations and how you can recycle your old electrical goods, please contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41.