Agenda item

Contact Officer: John Elson

An opportunity to ask representatives from Serco questions in relation to the waste contract.


The Head of Environment & Technical Services and representatives from Serco and the joint waste client team gave a detailed presentation to the Committee which included an overview of the contract, the activities and campaigns carried out both before and after the start of the contract and some of the improvements that had made to the service.


The Chair invited visiting speaker Claire Isbester to address the Committee, her comments included:


  • Felt that the contract was contradictory to the Councils sustainability policy as

most of the remaining waste was incinerated by an electricity only incinerator which produced more carbon dioxide than power stations.



  • The Borough could recycle much more and currently had a lower recycling rate than many other authorities.


The Head of Environment & Technical Services responded that they wanted to work together with residents to help to further improve the service. He also clarified that Hampshire County Council (HCC) specified how the Borough Council dispose of waste and that they would like to do more but were constrained in what they could achieve.


The Chair then invited visiting member Cllr J Westbrook to address the Committee, her comments included:


  • There had been a number of missed collections including general waste, recycling and glass boxes.


  • Some assisted collections had also been missed and clarification was sought as to whether it was correct that there was an in cab warning system in place in order to stop missed assisted collections.


  • Had there been any changes to collection points and routes and if so how had these been communicated to residents.


In regard to communal bin stores,


  • Should the emptied bins be returned to their original positions as this had not happened in the past and some residents struggled to move them.


  • Much of the recycling in the bin stores had been incorrectly placed in bags and what could be done to try and stop this.



The Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and the Environment and officers responded that:


  • Councillors should inform officers of any specific repetitive issues so that they could be looked into in more detail.


  • The bins in the communal stores should be returned to their original positions.


  • The assisted collection in cab warning system was in place.


  • There had been no changes to routes.


  • Officers would check to see if any collection points in the area had changed but confirmed the process for such changes would involve a letter to residents to consult with a follow up letter to confirm any action.


  • A key part of updated messaging was that any recycling ready for collection should be clean, dry and loose.


The Committee discussed the vision and made the following comments:


There was concern as to whether the missed collections would continue, officers confirmed that since the handover period and the crew’s constant use of the new system, the number of missed collections had decreased.


Clarification was sought in regard to bins damaged by the bin crews. The Committee was informed that requests for replacement bins would be looked at on case by case basis and in the future there would be a bin repair service to exchange those that had been damaged with repaired bins.


The Cabinet Member confirmed that work was ongoing to review solutions for those areas that consistently have a large amount of bins blocking pavements.


The process for dealing with contaminated bins was questioned as often they had just been left. Officers responded that there was a large cost associated with removing contaminated bins and if a recycling facility continued to be used improperly then those residents would have that facility taken away.


It was questioned whether Serco commented on any planning applications, officers confirmed that they did make comments in regard to waste arrangements for new developments but often these were not fully met.


The Committee requested that the planning team review whether an informative could be put on flatted developments so that residents could have the best bin storage available and the best opportunities to recycle.


In relation to flatted developments, officers agreed that if there was a need, a second waste collection could be possible.


Officers confirmed that their main focus was to fully utilize all of the current end markets that they already had.


Further comments included:


  • Would like officers to look at the glass boxes to see if a better and more durable product was available.


  • The committee thanked the bin crews for their hard work and positive attitude.


  • Welcomed the commitment to take on an apprentice who would be paid above the Apprentice minimum wage.


  • Noted that residents were able to leave lids on glass bottles/containers.


  • Would like to see officers liaise with sovereign and other housing associations.


  • Request that the results of resident satisfaction survey be split into wards.


Resolved: The Committee thanks the Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and the Environment, Officers and Serco representatives for the presentation.


Supporting documents: