by Dundonald Lib Dems on 27 August, 2016
It only took a month and two polite reminders, but eventually Lib Dem councillor Mary-Jane Jeanes received a response to the five key questions highlighted by our survey on the Council’s new plans for wheelie bins and fortnightly rubbish collections.
As Liberal Democrats, our aim is for a waste collection system that works for people, is good value for money and that increases recycling.
The introduction of wheelie bins has been a flagship idea for the Labour-run administration for years. They claim it will reduce litter on the streets. But residents who replied to our survey raised a number of concerns with the plans. So Cllr Jeanes asked the key questions. We reproduce the answers below.
We’ll be asking further questions in due course, but we’re quite concerned at the lack of detail that we have been provided with. It’s almost like the councillor in charge of waste services doesn’t know how or why it’s supposed to work – and that’s worrying for all of us.
It is recognised that the approach to waste collection cannot necessarily be a “one size fits all” approach and that different container types and sizes will need to be appropriate for the property type. However, in order for collection processes to be as lean and efficient as possible standardisation will be required to a large extent and any variation from the standard process would require justifiable reasons.
The preferred bidder acknowledges that given the extra weight / size of the bin that there will be a need to review the assisted collection policy and ensure that all residents who meet the new criteria are provided with an assisted collection. The Council will also take every opportunity to work with and consult various representative groups, including the Centre for Independent Living to review and develop our policies for assisted collections.
There are currently no plans to introduce a tailored service for households with young families. Providing the sanitary waste is bagged in the same way as it is at present there should be no health risk from a fortnightly service.
Merton’s Current recycling target is 38%. Our recycling performance has remained static over the last 3 years, current levels of recycling is between 36 – 37%, of which 20% is attributed from the kerbside collection. With the implementation of the new service we expect to see an overall increase in recycling across the South London Waste Partnership of 4%.
The issue of littering and fly tipping will remain a concern. The council has commissioned an external enforcement organisation (Kingdom) to enforce against littering. This together with the council’s well organised and continuous communications campaign will help to reduce the litter, debris and other obstructions through both education and awareness of the council’s zero tolerance approach to littering.
At present we have identified Veolia as the preferred bidder for waste collection and street Cleaning, no contract has been award and this will be subject to further work over the next 5 months. Subject to Council approval we aim to be in a position to award the contract in December 2016 ensuring that this provides value for money for our residents.11 Comments