South Gloucestershire residents are set to have even more opportunities to recycle their household waste, following a majority decision by councillors last night (Tuesday 10th September), but they will have to start paying for the collection of garden waste.
Plans to include mixed plastics, drinks cartons and small electrical items within kerbside recycling services from next year were approved by members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee, as part of the council’s Waste Strategy for 2013-19.
People living in flats are also set to benefit from a more comprehensive recycling service, with the introduction of new arrangements at premises not suited to a standard kerbside collection.
South Gloucestershire already has one of the highest recycling rates of all unitary authorities and the strategy aims to build on this success by extending the service to include more types of waste.
It also introduces a range of measures to improve service efficiency at a time of increasing financial pressure for local authorities.
Among these, a £36 annual charge will be introduced for garden waste collection, together with the introduction of £2 ‘pay as you go’ garden waste sacks, helping to reduce overall service costs. New measures to promote home composting as a more environment-friendly option for green waste will also be introduced alongside the new provisions for garden waste collection.
Residents who do not wish to subscribe to the service, or to home compost, can continue to dispose of garden waste free of charge at their local SORT IT! household waste recycling centre.
Members also approved a proposal that officers investigate the potential of alternative collection arrangements, such as double-shift systems, to deliver further efficiency savings.
As part of the drive to increase composting, residents moving into new-build homes in the district will be offered a voucher for a new home compost bin from April 2014, and bins will also be available for existing residents to buy at competitive rates.
The council will also work with community groups to promote and encourage home composting, by recruiting ‘composting champions’ to give independent advice in their neighbourhoods.
Other measures in the strategy include a reduction in the concessionary discount for bulky waste collections from 100 per cent to 50 per cent, and the introduction of new technology for waste collection vehicles which will help improve customer service and service efficiency.
Further proposals in the strategy, such as the introduction of mattress recycling, will be brought back to committee for decision at a future date.
Related link: Consultation on the South Gloucestershire Waste Strategy 2013 to 2019 (SGC)
Source: South Gloucestershire Council