24 June 2021

Report of the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning

Portfolio of the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change


Recycling Collection Options and Waste Consultations




1.        The Council is part way through replacing its waste and recycling vehicles.  They are now ten years old and well beyond their economic life expectancy.  The vehicle reliability is now affecting the performance of the service and the vehicles urgently need replacing.


2.        The vehicles that collect black bin waste have already been replaced.  In order to replace the recycling vehicles the collection methodology needs to be determined as changes could affect the type of vehicle ordered.  The current collection methodology with separate boxes requires a more expensive vehicle as it has a separate compartments; one for glass, one for plastics and one for tins.  However, this collection methodology has evolved as some of the materials can now be separated at Harewood Whin following our use of new technology and only paper/card needs to be kept separate. 


3.        The Executive has previously committed to a review of recycling to help drive up recycling rates.  This would determine the collection methodology and define the type of vehicle.

4.        The Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change considered options and scope for a review which was referred for discussion at Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee.  As a result of these meetings a city wide consultation has taken place across the city on recycling.


5.        The Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy published in 2019 proposed wide ranging and ambitious reforms but still contain significant uncertainty as to the extent of the changes and the likely timescale.


6.        However, just after the Council consultation in April 2021, the Government published a second round of consultations. Crucially the consultation on the “Consistency of Recycling Collections for Householders and Businesses” was launched on the 7th of May just as the Council consultation was about to close. This indicates the mandating certain recycling streams and frequencies.


7.        In addition there are a number of significant overlaps between the earlier consultations and the “Consistency of Collections” and it is disappointing that these consultations were not released together.


8.        The Environment Bill is now at the Lords and further details were released on the 12th May 2021.  This makes clear the Government’s intentions to mandate weekly food collections and introduce other significant changes to waste collection from 2024 onwards.  Until the secondary legislation is passed there will remain a significant amount of uncertainty over what Councils will need to do and by when.


9.        Executive are therefore asked to consider the consultation responses from residents across the city and confirm this should inform the Council response to Government consultation on consistency of collections.


10.    Based upon the consultation responses and the impending changes from Government, Executive are therefore being advised not to make changes to the frequency of collections or the containers for recycling, but other changes can be made to increase recycling, make it more efficient for both economic and environmental reasons and prepare the city for future changes once the Governments position becomes clear.




11.    The Executive is recommended to:


1.   Thank those (7,205) residents who have taken time to complete the Council consultation on recycling which is one of the best responses ever.  To welcome the Government’s own intentions to increase recycling by funding Local Authorities to provide additional services.

Reason: To provide greater clarity on efforts to increase recycling across the country.


2.   Delegate to the Director of Environment, Transport and Planning in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change a response to the Government’s consultation on recycling collections based upon the resident response to the Council’s consultation by the 4th of July closing date.

Reason: To ensure that the Council response to the Government Consultation reflects the views of residents


3.   To not proceed with the implementation of the three weekly recycling collections.

Reason: Results from the resident focus groups showed that three weekly collection was incredibly difficult to communicate and would therefore be a risk to success.  The uncertainty of the forthcoming Environment Bill, which may mandate fortnightly collections, means any fundamental change is likely to result in a second change to collection methodology in the next few years and result in potential abortive costs.


4.   Extend the garden waste season by one month to run each year from beginning of March to end of November starting in March 2022 (the current service runs from the beginning of April to end of November)

Reason: Whilst there was some support for a year round green waste service this was not conclusive, previous customer requests have shown a demand for an earlier start to the season. This will ensure that residents have a service that meets their need and extends the collection season as this was a theme in the Council’s consultation.


5.   In light of vehicle replacement to review if the current collection routes for recycling, refuse and garden waste are as efficient as possible.  If this results in a significant change to bring a report to the Executive Member. 

Reason:  To ensure the service provides an efficient and effective service.


6.   To begin to implement the bags to bins policy (wheeled bins rather than black bags) and bring this to future decision sessions of the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change. To also review the opportunities to extend these properties to a green waste collection. 

Reason: this will help prepare the city for any future changes.


7.The collection teams have been sorting dry recycling for the last year into two streams. The Council will now formally adopt this and launch a communications campaign to all householders that glass, cans and plastics can now be placed in the same box or boxes (2 boxes per household), but paper and card must be kept separate.  Reason – So that we only require residents to source separate their recycling to the level that we required.


8.   Note that these recommendations and the previous approvals of a budget for waste vehicle replacement and the Executive’s adoption of the Future Fleet Management Policy will allow officers to procure a fleet of twin stream recycling vehicles.

Reason: The recycling vehicle fleet is beyond its economical and serviceable life.




12.    Executive have approved £6.6 million to replace the Council’s ageing fleet of refuse and recycling collection vehicles and also to provide the infrastructure to enable electric vehicles to be charged at the Hazel Court depot.

13.    Following consultation with front-line staff, the first phase of the project was to purchase (i) two fully electric 26 tonne rear steer narrow chassis vehicles with a single cell (i.e. body) and (ii) ten low emission diesel 26 tonne rear steer narrow chassis vehicles with a single cell (i.e. body). The two electric vehicles and ten low emission diesel vehicles became operational in March 2021. The service is still assessing the performance of the electric fleet in an operational sense in meeting service delivery requirements (these vehicles operate predominantly in the Clean Air Zone in the city centre). The second phase of the vehicle procurement programme is to replace the recycling fleet which is beyond its serviceable and economic life.

14.    As committed to in the October 2019 Executive a review of recycling was required to take place before the recycling vehicles could be ordered. Waste reduction plays a key part in our Climate Emergency response through the creation of a circular economy that eliminates waste and minimises the continued use of resources.  Direct CO2 emissions from waste collection and reprocessing are relatively small on a city level, they have decreased from 2.6% of the cities emissions with the opening of Allerton Park it is now less than 0.2%.  We still need to reduce the use of new resources by re-use, repair and recycling i.e. by closing the circle we can continue to minimise our environmental impact.


15.    This paper sets out the various options that have been considered for the future design of the recycling service, which once agreed, will provide the basis for the vehicle type to be procured.

16.    As part of the Council’s Waste and Recycling Fleet replacement programme, 2 electric vehicles have been purchased which primarily operate on the commercial rounds within the city centre and the Clean Air Zone.  This is a pilot to understand emerging technology and whether it meets our needs.  They need to prove themselves over the lifecycle of the vehicle i.e. 7 years.  The remainder of the fleet will be clean diesel vehicles in accordance with the Fleet Replacement Policy approved in March 2020 by Executive, which said fleet under 3.5 tonnes would be electric.  HGV’s normally have a pay back of between 7 and 9 years so these new vehicles purchased now would be ready for replacement in 2030 at the latest, which matches the Council’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 and would allow a review of the best environmental vehicle at that point in time.


17.    A report was presented to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change decision session on 3rd March 2021. The report outlined the scope for a review of the recycling collections for residents and sought approval for the development of a series of different recycling collection methodologies and to approve a criteria for assessing the different options, including the frequency of collections.


18.    Following the Executive Member decision session, a report on recycling was taken to Economy and Place Scrutiny on 25th March 2021. The paper set out a number of options in relation to recycling collections and sought views on the proposals. The three options were:-


·Option A  - retain the current kerbside recycling service but develop an education and encouragement campaign to increase recycling rates


·Option B – increase capacity and the ease of recycling with a view to increasing recycling rates. This is achieved by moving to a 3 weekly recycling service collecting a stream each week and operating garden waste all year round


·Option C – increase capacity and collect additional recycling at the kerbside (e.g. batteries etc.) with a view to increasing recycling rates


19.    Having considered the discussion at the Economy and Place Scrutiny Committee it was clear that Option A did not have sufficient ambition and that Option C was not supported and that monthly collections are not acceptable.


20.    Option B was favoured although whether a year round green waste service is needed by residents was debated. The other issue was the challenge that a single solution will not work for all residents and the need to understand resident’s views.  Details of Option B can be seen in Annex 4.


21.    At the meeting on the 3 March the Executive Member decided to delegate the decision on whether to consult the public on a preferred option to the Assistant Director of Transport, Highways and Environment in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change. A consultation on the preferred methodology was launched which sought the views of the public on the recycling proposals (a 3 weekly collection service with paper / card collected one week, glass tins and plastics collected the following week and garden waste collected in the third week). The consultation launched on 2nd April and closed on 11th May 2021. The consultation was available on the Council’s website (www.york.gov.uk/consultations) and paper copies were available at all libraries and explore centres.


Council Recycling Consultation Results


22.    The Council undertook a consultation with residents on the preferred method of recycling collections (the ‘three weekly model’). A total of 7,205 responses to the survey have been received. The very high number of responses received provide a very reliable and robust set of results on which to make decisions.


23.    The headline results from the survey are as follows:


Key points are:-


·        90% would recycle more at the kerbside if they could


·        69% would prefer changing to 180 litre bin for glass, tins and plastics


·        62% of people want an all year round garden collection


·        In terms of containers – 47% say they do not have enough containers to recycle and 45% say about right amount of containers


·        63% would be able to recycle more if we provide larger containers





Other results


·        99% of people recycle through the kerbside scheme


·        54% recycle as the Council provides a kerbside service


·        82% are clear on what can be recycled


·        83% use kerbside garden waste service


·        34% home compost already


·        64% would use a food waste container


·        Overall 50% of people are satisfied with the current recycling service and 32% are dissatisfied. 18% of respondents were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied


The full breakdown of the consultation results are included in Annex 1.


24.    Following the consultation, a programme of focus groups was set up to further expand on some of the points of the consultation including a specific focus group on solutions for terraced streets etc. The focus groups ran between 21st and 30th April 2021; the results of which are included at Annex 2.


Government’s Waste and Resources Strategy, Latest Consultation and Environment Bill


Waste and Resources Strategy


25.    Previously, the Government consulted and produced its Resources and Waste Strategy. There were three main elements amongst the proposals and a commitment to undertake detailed consultation right across the waste industry and beyond.


26.    The three main elements were


·        consistency of collection (garden waste and a separate collection of food waste).

·        a deposit return scheme

·        extended producer responsibilities which is more focussed on the producers of packaging material.



27.    The proposals were wide ranging and ambitious.  Waste collection and disposal is a finely balanced model that needs to consider the cost and environmental impact of collecting the waste along with the cost of disposal.  It is for this reason that authorities have developed models that reflect their geography, housing profile that drive the cost of collection and then consider the available routes for disposal which often require investment of many millions. It is a significant step for a government to mandate a collection methodology to local authorities.


Latest Government Consultations


28.    Following on from the Government’s commitment in the Resources and Waste Strategy, on the 24th March 2021, the Government published its second round of consultations on extended producer responsibility and the deposit return scheme.


Consistency of Collection Consultation (Households and Businesses)


29.    On the 7th May the Government launched a further consultation on having consistent recycling collections to improve the quality and quantity of municipal waste that is recycled in England, with a view to achieving a recycling rate of 65% by 2035. It directly impacts local authorities and is structured around three main themes:-

·        Collection of the same ‘core set’ of dry recyclable materials from all households in England

·        The offer of a separate weekly food waste collection from households

·        The offer of separate (minimum fortnightly) collection of green waste from households (possibly free)


30.    The consultation suggests that the following materials may be included as the ‘core set’ of recyclables which are collected from all households:-

·        Glass bottles and containers (e.g. drink bottles, condiment jars etc.)

·        Paper and card (e.g. newspapers, cardboard packaging, writing paper etc.)

·        Plastic bottles (e.g. drinks bottles, shampoo and cleaning products, detergent, HDPE milk containers etc.)

·        Plastic pots, tubs and trays

·        Steel and aluminium cans and tins (e.g. drinks cans, aerosols, foil etc.)

·        Food and drink cartons (e.g. tetrapak)

·        Plastic films (e.g. bread bags, carrier bags, packaging film etc.).


The suggestion is that all these elements be accepted from 2023 onwards with an exception being made for plastic film materials of 2026/27 (due to the need for further technological development in the waste treatment industry).


31.    The consultation also proposes that provisions are made in the Environment Bill to require all waste collection authorities in England to arrange for the collection of food waste, separately and at least on a weekly basis. The proposals are for authorities to collect food waste and have collections in place by 2024/25 at the latest. There is recognition that some local authorities with long term residual waste disposal contracts (e.g. some energy from waste or mechanical biological treatments) may require slightly longer to introduce collections with contractual arrangements needing to be agreed. Therefore, they are proposing that a date be set between 2024/25 and 2030/31. The proposal also outlines that any authority who collect food and garden waste together be set a similar timeframe for moving to food waste collections only.


32.    The consultation also proposes that all waste collection authorities arrange a separate collection of garden waste. As there were a lot of comments from local authorities who currently charge for garden waste collections after the first round of consultations, the proposal is for a limited free collection service with local authorities retaining the provision to charge beyond this (e.g. by increasing the frequency of collections or increasing capacity). There are also some alternatives which DEFRA are seeking views on namely increasing home composting, clear communications to non-participating households and a reference to further guidance on reasonable charges.


33.    In addition to the proposals outlined above, DEFRA plan to publish statutory guidance alongside the publishing of the secondary legislation that will enact consistent collections. DEFRA intend to consider the following areas in statutory guidance:-

·        Conditions where an exception to the condition that recyclable waste in each recyclable stream must be collected separately may apply and where, as a consequence, two or more recyclable waste streams may be collected together

·        Compliance and enforcement

·        Minimum service standards for the collection of residual waste from households

·        Minimum service standards for the separate collection of food and garden waste from households

·        Minimum service standards for the separate collection of dry recyclable materials from households and non-domestic premises and premises producing commercial and industrial waste.


34.    The consultation advocates that businesses and non-domestic premises should also arrange for the collection of glass, metal, plastic, paper and card and food waste for recycling or composting. The consultation seeks views on the timescales to implement these changes and outlines that large businesses will be expected to make the changes first and that there may be some exemptions for small and ‘micro’ firms.


35.    DEFRA have re-iterated their commitment in the Waste and Resources Strategy 2019 to fund the net additional cost to local authorities of the new statutory duties placed upon them. DEFRA have stated they will fund net additional capital costs (e.g. containers, vehicles) and transitional costs such as communications and re-routing vehicles to implement the new consistent collection methods.


36.    In terms of timeframes across the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and Consistent Collection consultations, the following table highlights the Government’s proposed implementation schedule:-












Scottish DRS to be introduced







Structure for modulated fees to be decided


Mandatory take back of disposable cups is introduced



Recyclability labels become mandatory



Consistent collections




43% of LA’s have transitioned to consistent collections within one year of policy being implemented


All businesses have transitioned to consistent collections by 2026

100% of LA’s have transitioned to consistent collections by 2030




*** - All three collection and packaging reforms are implemented


## - The Government has committed to no food waste entering landfill by 2030


Environment Bill


37.    On the 12th May a version of the Environment Bill was produced which has now progressed to the Lords.  This made clear the Governments intentions to make a radical change to recycling https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/2593


Impacts of the Consultation and Environment Bill


38.    It is important to recognise that the “Extended Producer Responsibility”, “Deposit Return Scheme” have only recently closed.  The “Consistent Collections Consultation” is still in progress.  The new Environment Bill means there is now certainty that the Government intend to mandate a change in collections nationally. Whilst officers cannot guarantee which elements will eventually be implemented by the Government in secondary legislation, it is clear that the Government are committed to introducing weekly food waste collections nationally and this is referenced in the Environment Bill.




39.    The consultation undertaken by the Council has shown interest from residents in how they can help the Council increase the levels of recycling.  It is impossible to give certainty what the Government will mandate local authorities to do.  Therefore several options have been developed:


40.    Option One – Recognising the response from residents and include these within the response to the Governments Consultation.


41.    Option Two - Based upon the CYC consultation, progress proposals for a 3 weekly recycling collection methodology as per Annex 4.


42.    Option Three – Acknowledge the responses from the public to the Council recycling consultation.  Due to the uncertainty of the forthcoming Environment Bill and Government consultations do not make any change to recycling.


43.    Option Four Acknowledge the responses from the public to the CYC recycling consultation.  Due to the uncertainty of the forthcoming Environment Bill and Government consultations do not implement the three weekly recycling methodology.  To make changes which will increase recycling rates, improve efficiency, and prepare the city for future change:


·     Extend the garden waste season to run each year from early March starting in March 2022. This will ensure that residents have a service that is more ’fit for purpose’ and extends the collection season

·     Bring a report to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on optimising collection rounds for recycling, refuse and garden waste to ensure that they are efficient and effective and improve the resilience of the service

·     Bring a report to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on implementing the bags to bins programme to seek to convert approximately 6,200 households currently on a bag collection to a wheeled bin service and explore opportunities to provide them with a green bin service.

·     Include an exploration of other options for those properties that cannot be transferred to a wheeled bin service.

·     Communicate to all householders to outline that glass, cans and plastics can be placed in the same box as this is how the waste has been sorted during the Covid pandemic and our waste contractor has the facility to separate out the materials for onward processing and recycling.




44.    York is in a fantastic position to respond to the government consultation on recycling having had over 7,000 responses to a consultation on how recycling services could be changed to improve recycling.


45.    Whilst the proposal that were consulted upon (contained with Annex 4) have been designed to increase recycling within the city of York, they have been done so within the constraints of the Council’s budget and the current recycling processing capacity.


46.    The Government continue to indicate that they will fund Councils if they mandate free green waste collection and free food waste collections or indeed other changes.


47.    A change to waste and recycling day collections is a major communication and consultation exercise.  This is even more complex if the way waste is presented by residents needs to change. 


48.    Given the latest round of Government consultations and the current version of the Environment Bill, the Council should not make changes to the current recycling frequency, this is supported by the resident’s views from the consultation.


49.    However, there are changes that can be made which will improve recycling rates and make the Council more efficient whilst we await the final outcomes of the Government consultations and any law changes.


50.    The proposal for a year round garden waste collection did have some support but was not conclusive, therefore adding an extra month giving residents two extra free collections of their first green bin will be welcomed by many. 


51.    Ensuring that the collection rounds are as efficient as possible allowing the service to accommodate the growth in the city’s number of properties.  This will not only save money but ensure the environmental impact of collecting waste and recycling is minimised.


52.    Making any change to waste collection is currently most challenging for those properties that remain on a bag service.  The principle of this review will be the presumption that properties will move to a bin where it is technically possible. This will be delivered through a process involving Ward Councillors, Officers and the Executive Member in consultation with residents drawing on case studies where this change has already happened.  The review will also look at opportunities to move those properties that don’t have a green waste collection to receive a green bin service.  These changes would be predominantly in the following wards (Micklegate, Guildhall, Clifton, Holgate and Heworth). The decision on the change from bags to bins will be made by the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change at Decision Sessions.


53.    There are three different types of recycling collection for dry recyclables.


·    Single single-stream recycling otherwise known as commingled, is the system in which all paper, plastic, metals, etc. are mixed into a single stream. This is then sifted and separated at a recycling facility. 

·    Twin stream recycling is where the recycling is sorted into two paper/cardboard and metals/glass/plastic.  The metals, glass and plastics are then sifted and sorted at a recycling facility. This results in a higher monetary value for the collected items once collected than it does for a single stream or comingled collection. 

·    Source Separated recycling is where the residents sorts their recycled goods before collection normally into three categories Paper/Card, Plastic/Tins and Glass, the plastic and tins are separated at a recycling facility.


54.    The majority of York has historically been on a source separated collection with three boxes provided, the vehicles that collect this waste have three compartments.  However, a small number of the tightest terraced streets have been on a comingled collection because the vehicle with three compartments cannot get access to the streets because they are too narrow.  The environmental benefit of collecting the recycling from these narrow streets as source separated does not outweigh the environmental impact of having to send three vehicles, therefore there is a planned level of comingling.  There is a small amount of unplanned comingling that occurs in other streets if one of the specialist multi compartment vehicles is not available and we are required to use a spare vehicle that does not have the separate compartments.


55.    During the COVID crisis last year staff absences in our waste crews increased.  Despite drafting in bus drivers and other HGV drivers from other companies, our services were stretched and it affected the first couple of collections of green waste.  By working with our supply chain we realised that we could return to normality by utilising the equipment already in our supply chain that sorts the metals and plastic to also separate the glass.  We have therefore been collecting the plastic, tins and glass together, but keeping paper and card separate.  In effect a twin stream recycling model. As part of the process the law requires a log of what is collected and how it is sorted, which is clear audit trail that the paper and card is being kept separated. 


56.    We have communicated this to residents through social media and released a video showing the new sorting process taking place. 


57.    That has been a useful exercise as it has been a pilot and has shown that by adding the glass to the sorting process the quality and value of the product is not affected and the end recycling routes are the same. 


58.    The reason for these suggested changes are to ensure that all collection rounds are efficient and effective and that we make service improvements, some of which were requested by residents through the recent CYC consultations on recycling.


59.    Working with the marketing and communications team, a marketing and engagement plan will be developed, which demonstrates a range of communications channels and prototypes (The comms plan examples are contained in Annex 3). This will help residents understand the decision made by Executive and how they will be affected.


60.    Therefore Option 1 and 4 are recommended.


Financial Implications


61.    There are potentially significant financial implications arising from the Environment Bill relating to Waste and Recycling.


62.    In relation to  changes to the types of material that require collecting and recycling there will be “new burdens” funding provided to Councils to cover the additional costs that they will face.


63.    In relation to the extended producer responsibility scheme for packaging producers will be required to pay Councils for the cost of dealing with packaging in the domestic waste stream.


64.    There is currently no detail as to how much funding will be available to CYC and therefore there is significant uncertainty as to whether any changes required to waste collection and processing will be able to be delivered within the current budget and future funding levels. The Government’s intentions show initial funding to Councils can be expected within 2023/24 financial year.


65.    The extension of the garden waste collection service into March can be accommodated within current budgets as they are undertaken by staff and vehicles which are available year round.


66.    There was £100k saving agreed as part of the 2021/22 budget with the intention of increasing recycling and the report highlights some options as to how changes to recycling can lead to savings. This can be achieved by reducing garden waste in the grey bin waste stream, review of rounds and reducing the amounts of waste fully comingled. This level of saving will need to be monitored as the year progresses but may need mitigating from not committing to all the £500k growth agreed at the same budget in this financial year.


67.    The recommendations of purchasing replacement recycling vehicles can be contained within £6.6m waste fleet replacement budget agreed in 2020/21 budget.


68.    The Council has signed a 25 year contract with North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) for the provision of Long Term Waste Management Facility whereby grey bin waste is take to Allerton Park for processing. The contract continues to 2043. The contract has requirements to provide minimum level of tonnages and therefore any changes to the waste stream will need to take into account the Council’s contractual obligations. This will include considering options along with NYCC.


69.    There are three types of recycling


·        Single single-stream recycling otherwise known as comingled, is the system in which all paper, plastic, metals, etc. are mixed into a single stream. This is then sifted and separated at a recycling facility. 

·        Twin stream recycling is where the resident sorts their recycled goods before collection into two paper/cardboard and metals/glass/plastic.  The metals, glass and plastics are then sifted and sorted at a recycling facility. This results in a higher monetary value for the collected items once collected than it does for a single stream collection. 

·        Source Separated recycling is where the residents sorts their recycled goods before collection normally into three categories Paper/Card, Plastic/Tins and Glass.


70.    In terms of the financial impact of each model it can be summarised as follows


The gate fee which reflects the cost of sorting the materials once they arrive

·Comingled = £77.

·Twin Stream = £0

·Source Separated = £0


The quality of the recycling is reflected in the rebate, the value of the materials collected.  The pilot of collecting as a Twin Stream rather than as source separated has shown a minimal impact. Yorwaste have reported a reduction of around £6 per tonne for the twin stream glass.  We collect circa 250 tonnes of glass a month so the impact of a Twin Stream collection on the rebate is circa £1500 per month, which is not significant and can be contained within the current budget.


But this needs to be offset against the other advantages of a twin stream collection methodology.


Human Resources (HR): Changes to collection methodology will not impact on the resourcing requirements for the service.


Equalities: Whilst the changes to recycling are designed to increase recycling residents who continue to present waste as they always have will continue to get a service.  Therefore no changes to equalities have been identified.


Legal: Under section 45A(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended) (“EPA”) the Council is required to collect “at least two types of recyclable waste together or individually separated from the rest of the household waste.” Recyclable waste is defined in section 45A(6) as “household waste which is capable of being recycled or composted”.


The Consistency in recycling collections in England: The Government have outlined that they will mandate the collection of a core set of materials and the government will seek to amend legislation to require all English local authorities to collect food waste and at least the following dry materials from 2023:


glass bottles and containers – including drinks bottles, condiment bottles, jars

paper and card – including newspaper, cardboard packaging, writing paper

plastic bottles – including clear drinks containers, HDPE (milk containers), detergent, shampoo and cleaning products

plastic pots tubs and trays

steel and aluminium tins and cans


Additionally, the consultation proposes that the collection of separate food waste be mandated so that every local authority provides householders with a separate food waste collection. Government’s preference is that this should be a separate weekly collection of food waste and not mixed with garden waste. However, it is clear that further consideration is needed with respect to local circumstances. We will work with LAs and others to consider how best to deliver this requirement to take account of local circumstances.”


The consultation shows that a number of changes are proposed with an implementation date on 2023/24. The Council’s current recycling collection methodology meets the Council’s duty as set out in the EPA and the options outlined within this report seek to build on that methodology and incorporate the outcome of Central Government’s proposals in respect of consistency in recycling collections once they are known.


Risk Management


67.  The development of options and any change to service will need to be considered carefully. Should Members be minded to change waste recycling collection methodology, it will need to be managed as a project with a communications and engagement plan to ensure all residents understand the change and the rationale for the change.


68.  Members are also reminded that the delivery timeframe on new waste and recycling vehicles is approximately 26 to 30 weeks from order through to delivery and this will need to be incorporated into any decision.


Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Ben Grabham

Head of Environmental Services


07749 710152



James Gilchrist

Director; Environment, Transport and Planning



Report Approved



11 June 2021


Neil Ferris

Corporate Director of Place

Report Approved



11 June 2021





Specialist Implications Officer(s)  List information for all


Financial:-                                        Legal:-

Name         Patrick Looker              Cathryn Moore

Title:           Finance Manager         Legal Manager

Tel No.       1633                              2847


Wards Affected: 







For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers:

Waste Collection Methodology – Executive 24 October 2019

Capital Budget 2020/21 to 2024/25 – Executive 13 Feb 2020/Full Council 27 Feb 2020

Future Fleet Management Policy - Executive 19 March 2020

Waste Report Update as requested by Executive October 2019 – Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change 3 March 2021

Recycling Waste – Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee 25 March 2021

Link to Environment Bill - https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/2593

Link to  Government’s consultation - https://consult.defra.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/consistency-in-household-and-business-recycling/




Annex 1 – Consultation results

Annex 2 – Focus group results

Annex 3 – Forward communications plan

Annex 4 – Graphics which explained proposal


List of Abbreviations Used in this Report


DEFRA – Department Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EPR – Extended Producer Responsibility

DRS – Deposit Return Scheme