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Waste service overhaul as Gloucester recycling rates hit just 36 per cent

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 06, 2014

963645

Too much waste is going to Hempsted tip

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RECYCLING rates of just 36 per cent have prompted a major overhaul of waste collection in Gloucester.

New, innovative ideas for a collection service fit for the future include replacing the council’s fleet of bin lorries with ones that can hold more recyclable items.

Residents would also not have to sort their recyclables – the work instead being done by the waste teams.

A bid to reach a 50 per cent recycling rate has prompted a year-long review into the service by the city council.

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Split-back lorries used in Bristol are being eyed up as the perfect model when the contracts for the current vehicles comes up for renewal.

Councillor Gordon Williams (C, Abbey), who has been involved in a special waste think tank, unveiled the ambitious plans at a meeting on Wednesday.

He said: “The group feel the current service is efficient, but we have been presented with a golden opportunity when the current fleet of vehicles comes up for renewal.”

Sajid Patel, cabinet member for the environment, will propose changes to the service within six months.

He is also being encouraged to use special computer modelling to reimagine the way collections are carried out. The system can design new, more efficient routes based on the city’s street layouts.

Mr Taylor added: “There is a real desire to increase the recycling rate. If we don’t, the council could face fines by the European Union for missing its recycling targets.

Kingsway mum-of-one Sarah Churchill, from Northwood Drive, said that the council’s low recycling rate may not be wholly representative of the true picture.

She said: “A lot of people these days don’t even bother recycling through the council. My leftover food goes to the goats and sheep behind my horses and many people send their jars to friends who make jams.

“These days there are all sorts of websites that allow people to give away items they don’t want rather than just throwing them out.”

She also pointed to Waterwells Academy Primary School, on the Kingsway estate, which recently appealed for collections of unwanted cardboard and paper which they will use for arts and crafts activities. “That’s much better than putting it in a recycling bin,” she said.

COLLECTION PROBLEMS

HUNDREDS of city residents experience problems with their recycling collections each week because their streets are too narrow or they live in a flat.

Newly-built, narrow roads in Kingsway are particularly troublesome for refuse lorries that struggle to get down the streets.

Hundreds of other residents, in areas such as Barton, have received letters from the council asking them to move their cars on collection days because some lorries had collided with wing mirrors in their efforts to get down the streets.

A rethink of what lorries will be used in the future is on the cards – but a solution will not be easy to find.

Councillor Fred Wood, cabinet member for performance and resources, warned: “Accessibility is a real issue and the solution isn’t going to be as easy or palatable as we perhaps hope.”

Council leader Paul James admitted that it was a ‘complex’ issue, while councillor Gordon Taylor (C, Abbey) said: “Clearly these problems will not be solved overnight but they need to be incorporated into future planning policy.”

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7 comments

  • whiteheat  |  February 12 2014, 8:41AM

    Just build that incinerator and then we don't need to bother with this recycling foolery

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  • Bonkim2003  |  February 10 2014, 8:54AM

    Recycling at any cost is idiotic. Collection costs are too high for recycling low value materials - best to collect in one bin or bag weekly and remove high value items in a recovery facility and send the rest to an EFW plant for recovering energy.

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  • JemmyWood  |  February 07 2014, 1:53PM

    Snappy Happer, I couldn't agree more. You only have to look at the shambolic recycling contract in place and the push by Stan the Burning Man and Henchman Hawthorne for the Incinerator millstone, 2+2= 4. People WANT to to recycle A LOT more, but the kerk side collections are so selective in what they take, when so much more could be done... Low cost contract in place, low yeild amounts to shockingly poor recycling rates and increased amount sent to landfill. It would take Einstein to work out that if you increase what recycling is taken at kerbside, will increase the overall percentage rate and reduce landfill... but that would fly in the face of the Tories 'scorched earth' burn everything policy. I wonder why the previous 'Waste Czar' couldn't (or wouldn't) see that? Maybe its time that was investigated............

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  • Snappy_Happer  |  February 07 2014, 9:39AM

    This news flies in the face of claims that the council was on target to improve recycling rates and ensure that only truly residual waste would go into an incinerator. Were they intending to send their problems with bad waste management up in smoke all along?

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  • sexymamma67  |  February 07 2014, 6:08AM

    The recycling boxes aren't fit for purpose and a larger bin like the domestic bins would be so much better to use. Residents would be more likely to throw everything into one larger bin. This would save the council money on replacement boxes as the crew throw them around damaging them on collection day. A windy day and they blow everywhere so residents have to get replacements if they are in stock. The list goes on.... The Council and Councillors need to rethink the whole recycling process and make it simpler for residents to use and up the items that they take... Cardboard for one would be a fantastic addition. Speak to the supermarkets and get them to do more as it's their packaging that create all this recycling.

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  • Tree1974  |  February 06 2014, 7:10PM

    I think Sarah Churchill has a point about the statistics not being representative because it can't include re-use. I have virtually no food waste as it is given to my animals or composted, my waste paper is shredded and used as animal bedding and non shiny cardboard is is composted at home. Jars are nearly always wanted by someone so really the only things I can recycle are tins and milk bottles. We do need to recycle more so widening what can be recycled and having one bin for all recyclables would really help. My mother inlaw lives in Lincolnshire and can recycle far more, they have a big bin for recyclables and a really small bin for everything else. Because they can even recycle plastic food trays and plastic bags this causes no problems with regard to space. Roll on better recycling in Gloucester!!!

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  • honslknjklyt  |  February 06 2014, 6:47PM

    Think of all the bulky cardboard that goes in the bin, such as the ones that hold DVD players, computers and such, all recyclable and not collected. Aerosols - recylclable and not collected Shoes, socks and clothes - recyclable and not collected and more. There is room on some car parks for recycling areas so that residents can take things but they are not being used very well. We are expected to all have cars and go to recycling centres, even the recycling area at Tesco on St Oswalds retail park is difficult to get to if you are a pedestrian. It is just as easy to chuck everything in the bin.

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