Doorstep plastic and food waste collections on the way for South Gloucestershire

A kerbside plastic bottle and food waste collection service is to be rolled out to every South Gloucestershire household in the biggest expansion of recycling services in 10 years.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Conservative administration has unveiled an ‘in principle’ agreement with its waste contractor SITA to overhaul the 25 year contract that had been agreed in 2000 by the council’s then Liberal Democrat administration, which specifically left out kerbside plastic bottle and food waste collections.

Once the revised contract has been formally signed off, the proposed start date for the additional collection services would be winter 2010 and would lead to the council exceeding the 50 per cent recycling target set by its Conservative administration in the first full year of implementation.

The existing contract has been branded ‘not fit for purpose’ with the main criticisms including:

  • it specifies a mere 40 per cent recycling rate;
  • it lacks incentives for SITA to recover and divert more from landfill;
  • it requires SITA to build a dedicated In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility, which has caused concern in a number of local communities.

As well as helping the council to break through its 50 per cent recycling target, the new Conservative contract would:

  • roll-out a weekly food waste collection service to all households;
  • introduce an alternating collection of plastic bottles one week and segregated cardboard the next week;
  • remove the requirement for a dedicated IVC facility;
  • introduce greater flexibility so further improvements can be more easily introduced in the future.

Most significantly, the expansion of recycling services would be funded from within the council’s existing waste management budget and is set to become one of the biggest examples of Conservative councillors’ determination to achieve better value for money for residents.

Cllr Heather Goddard, Conservative Cabinet member for Communities, said:

“As a Conservative administration, we drew up an ambitious strategy to dramatically improve recycling across the district and break through the 50 per cent recycling rate target well before many other councils.

But the existing contract, as well as changes in national policy over the last couple of years, has made achieving these goals difficult.

We, therefore, set ourselves the tough task of sitting down with SITA in order to renegotiate a contract that was no longer fit for purpose.

The new contract that we have now agreed in principle with SITA will see kerbside plastic bottle and food waste collection services rolled out to all households by the end of the year in what will be the biggest expansion of recycling services in a decade and which will help achieve our vision of a greener district.

Importantly, we are able to fund these additional recycling improvements from within the council’s existing waste management budget, which is yet more evidence of our determination to squeeze more value out of the council tax that our residents already pay.”

The plans will be formally approved at a Cabinet meeting on 17th May.

More info: Waste Management Contract – Five Year Review 2010 (SGC)

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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