Agenda item

Agenda item

Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing Update

Report of Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) 


This report provides an update on progress in delivering waste, recycling, and street cleansing services. Describing how the activity contributes to the climate change agenda and key priorities for future. Including an update on the English Resources and Waste Strategy (2018).



The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided an update on progress in delivering waste, recycling, and street cleansing services, describing how the activity contributed to the climate change agenda and key priorities for the future, including an update on the English Resources and Waste Strategy (2018).


Key points and themes in the report included:


·                An introduction to the service area;

·                Impact of the Pandemic (COVID-19) and Brexit;

·                Biffa Performance Update;

·                Bin collections;

·                Electric Refuse Collection Vehicles (eRCV);

·                Fly tipping and the Fly Tip Intervention Investment; 

·                Keep Manchester Tidy campaigns, including case studies;

·                Recycling Campaigns and Initiatives; and

·                Conclusions and Next Steps


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·                Questioning the cleansing scores given to cycle lanes, noting the prevalence of littering from motor vehicles;

·                The need for a specific campaign to tackle the issue of litter discarded from motor vehicles;

·                Noting that assisted collections were important for those residents that required them;

·                More needed to be done to engage with businesses to reduce commercial waste and excessive packaging;

·                What was the process to review the Biffa contract ahead of the break point and would Members be involved in these discussions;

·                That a rebalancing of services between the city centre and district centres should be addressed through any contract negotiations;

·                The issue of returning bins remained an ongoing issue;

·                More emphasis was required on behaviour change and waste with the need to repair, reduce and recycle more;

·                Behaviour change need to be included in each ward plan, including utilising the local Neighbourhood Teams to engage with local schools and business;

·                Noting the importance of Carbon Literacy Training;

·                Noting the challenges of missed bin collections, particularly in relation to apartment blocks and the need to recognise the need for improved communications between management agencies and caretakers and crews;

·                Was the CRM (Customer relationship management) system fit for purpose to report issues;

·                Noting issues that had arisen where crews were unable to access locations due to development works or irresponsible parking;

·                Biifa needed to work closely with Housing Providers to support the education of residents in regard to what could be recycled and what could be placed in each bin;

·                Noting that delays in issuing permits for skips to be placed on the highway were contributing to waste accumulation;

·                Discussing if it would be more beneficial to allow commercial waste to be taken to Household Recycling Centres in attempt to save money and reduce the incidents of fly-tipping; and

·                Paying tribute to the Biffa crews for their work, particularly during the unique challenges presented by COVID-19.


In reply the Contract Manager, Waste stated that both Biffa and Council Officers conducted NI195 monitoring, a national standard of all areas, including cycleways, both straight after clean and between cleaning cycles, however he accepted that the standards could deteriorate between cleaning.


The Strategic Lead, Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning stated that discussions regarding the Biffa contract would be an opportunity to discuss the service in the context of the budget.


The Strategic Lead, Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning stated that assisted collections and the returning of bins had been impacted by COVID-19 and the disruption this had had on the crews. She reassured the Members that officers were working with Biffa to address both these issues, noting the importance of these for residents was recognised.


The Strategic Lead, Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning commented that options for increasing and promoting repair and recycling opportunities were being explored, including the increased use of social media to advertise local schemes and connect residents. She further recognised the comments regarding behaviour change regarding waste and recycling and noted that tailored initiatives at a ward level could greatly assist in this activity.


The Strategic Lead, Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning advised that commercial waste was not appropriate for Household Waste and Recycling Centres, noting that it was the duty of all commercial businesses to have a waste management strategy. The Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) advised it was important to recognise that there was often criminality associated with fly-tipping. She made reference to the recent press reports where prosecutions had been taken against perpetrators, adding that these had been achieved by working collaboratively with different agencies, including Greater Manchester Police.


The Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) addressed the point raised regarding the CRM system by advising that this system would be replaced as part of the wider digital strategy, commenting that senior officers from the service were involved in this process to ensure the replacement service was fit for purpose.


The Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) stated that the issue raised by the Member regarding the delay in issuing permits for skips would be relayed to the Highways Department for attention. She further commented that access issues were considered when development permissions were granted.


The Neighbourhood Officer updated the Committee on the work underway with seventeen local schools to deliver the Eco Schools programme, in addition to projects that had been delivered with children during the school holidays. She further commented that there was a national Keep Britain Tidy campaign directly designed to address the issues associated with student accommodation.


The Executive Member for Environment encouraged Members to undertake a visit to the Longley Lane Household Recycling Centre and she would arrange visits for Members. She further supported the discussion regarding the inclusion of waste and recycling behaviour change in all ward plans. She further commented that discussions were ongoing with local Universities and landlords to tackle the waste issues associated with student accommodation. She also advised the Members that discussions were ongoing at a Greater Manchester level to explore the options for improved messaging regarding the recycling opportunities at recycling centres.




The Committee recommend that the Executive Member for Housing and Employment discuss with all local housing providers the options for supporting their residents to increase their recycling.


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