- Meeting of Commissioned Scrutiny Slot, Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 25 March 2021 5.30 pm (Item 14.)
The Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change received a report on 3 March considering how recycling rates could be increased to determine the type of vehicles it should purchase for future recycling collections. Options and criteria for a future recycling service were considered and the Executive Member requested they be worked up as options for further consideration by this Committee. The Executive Member having defined the criteria by which the options should be developed, has been applied to the options in this report. The committee are asked to consider the options that have been developed and determine a preferred option which meets the criteria and is most likely to increase recycling.
The Committee were joined by The Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change Councillor Widdowson, YorWaste Commercial Director Richard Bates and Council officers to discuss the options for recycling rates in the city and what vehicles the Council should purchase to achieve this. Officers outlined the three options presented in the report, noting the changes that would be made to current collections in options B and C and the types of vehicles that would need to be purchased to deliver what was outlined.
Members discussed which option would provide the most versatility to amend over time. It was noted that option B, due to being the only option which would use a standardised vehicle would provide the most flexibility for the service. With a standardised fleet it was also noted that should there be issues with one collection vehicle, it should be easier for the council to deploy another vehicle to complete its collection.
Member’s discussed option B’s proposal for a year round green waste collection. Officers noted that household waste and recycling centres (HWRC) saw an increase in green waste currently over winter when collections stopped, this would result in HWRC receiving roughly 30% of its summer peak of green waste over winter. It was also noted that year round collections would provide a more regular working pattern year round for staff, which could reduce the need for agency staff as full time staff would be retained. Members discussed whether green waste collections year round would be cost effective and whether or not the evidence provided proved a need for its introduction. It was noted some residents with a lot of brown waste over winter would find collections to be useful year round. It was also confirmed that under option B green waste collection could be extended city wide, to accommodate residents who currently did not have the option of green waste collections.
Discussion took place regarding the options of recyclable materials. Members noted that batteries and textiles outlined in option C might not have enough demand to require collections to be introduced, as well as, concerns that were noted about the safety of battery collections. Consideration was given to whether the Council should increase its range of plastics that are collected. Officers highlighted issues in collecting a wider range of plastics, due to the value of plastics that were not currently recycled. Members welcomed an increased communications plan noted in all options and recommended that more could be done to highlight what materials such as which plastics could be recycled.
Food waste and composting was raised, Members considered what could be introduced to encourage composting and how communal composting could be introduced and encouraged. Officers noted that education on composting could be included in a communications plan for options A, B, or C. In regards to food waste it was suggested that option B would supply the easiest introduction if required due to the standardised vehicles and collection calendar which would allow weekly collections. Local community groups recycling was also discussed and it was noted that the council could promote a range of charities across the city which provided recycling which the Council might not collect.
Following discussions Members considered and noted positives from the options provided, however, concerns were raised that the options did not currently provide an easy enough way to amend the options. Members debated the increase in capacity of wheely bins or boxes that were outlined in some of the options as to whether a second paper recycling box would be required, or if an increase of 9% of plastics and tins in option B would be sufficient. Regardless of which option was taken forward Members agreed the need for effective communications to outline any changes to residents and they highlighted the need for effective communications with university students who move into York.
i. The Executive Member and officers noted the Committees comments ahead of selecting a preferred option to be developed further including public consultation.
Reason: To provide the Committees comments ahead of a preferred option being developed further.
- Recycling Review Scrutiny Report, item 14. PDF 245 KB View as HTML (14./1) 69 KB
- Annex 1, item 14. PDF 421 KB
- Annex 2, item 14. PDF 409 KB
- Annex 3, item 14. PDF 410 KB