The Chair of the Environment Scrutiny Panel outlined the Panel's findings, conclusions and recommendations following a scrutiny investigation of the topic of household waste management arrangements in Middlesbrough.
The Board considered the following recommendations of the Panel based on evidence submitted and conclusions reached:-
1. That refuse and recycling arrangements are reviewed in future to ensure that collection schemes continue to be operated at maximum efficiency - in particular to examine the possibility of moving to weekly collections of recycling and fortnightly collections of refuse.
2. That, in order to further encourage recycling across the Borough, the information contained on the Council's website in respect of waste and recycling arrangements is reviewed/updated as necessary to ensure that:
(a) The Recycling Directory, that lists all items that can be recycled, is kept accurate and up to date.
(b) Information, updated at regular intervals, is included on tonnages of recycling and green waste collected; and information on how recycled materials are dealt with/processed.
3. That the Council's website is also updated to advise that the Council's waste/recycling collection schemes are operated as flexibly as possible and that, in areas where plastic sacks are used for refuse and recycling collections, wheelie bins can be provided on request.
4. That all Elected Members are contacted in writing and invited to submit feedback on operation of the new waste and recycling collection arrangements. This should be with a view to identifying any problems associated with the new arrangements- such as areas where further publicity for the collection schemes might be requir4ed; highlighting areas of misuse of communal recycling bins; and identifying areas where enforcement action could assist in addressing problems.
5. That, subject to it being possible to do so at minimal cost, the re-introduction of free, local, public compost collections is examined and considered.
The Board's attention was drawn to subsequent comments received from the Executive Member for Environment.
With reference to paragraph 22 (d) of the Final Report the Executive Member for Environment had confirmed that the decision to reduce the number of green waste collections by one each year had been a 'political' decision, taken as a part of the budget setting process by the Full Council in order to make budget reductions.
In relation to paragraph 22 (c) of the report, the Executive Member for Environment confirmed that up to four additional bins could be provided for recycling/green waste and that additional recycling bins were provided free of charge but only the first and second bins were free of charge in respect of green waste bins.
In terms of side waste it was noted that many residents were taking advantage of the opportunity of using clear bags for additional recycling tied to the recycling bins which the contractors were collecting.
Members commented on the success of the changes to the household waste management arrangements. In response to Members' clarification on a number of areas with particular regard to the levels of recycling and green waste collection and the processing of such materials it was confirmed that a further update/review would be undertaken in the future.
ORDERED as follows:-
1. That the comments of the Executive Member for Environment be incorporated into the Final Report.
2. That the findings and recommendations of the Environment Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.