Weekly bin collections instead of fortnightly - Are people prepared to pay for them ?

A committee of MP's has said that fortnightly alternative collections are not suitable for some built up urban areas. So does this mean that the government will pay the cost for weekly collections ?

When I sat on the sub-committee for North Norfolk District Council that looked at the waste contract in North Norfolk, we were given costings for what it would cost to have weekly instead of fortnightly collections. In layman's terms, and obviously it depended on which tender you looked at, but it could meant almost a doubling of the costs of the contract. There was no way that the people of North Norfolk were prepared to pay a 20% increase in council tax in order to be able to have weekly collections, so fortnightly collections was the option we went for.

Incidentally, recycling in North Norfolk has more than doubled to more tan 40% since then.

So some important questions need to be asked of those who whinge incorrectly that bins will have flies in them (wrong), that they will be over run by rats (wrong) and that it does not encourage recycling (wrong).

Do they want their council tax to rise by 20% in order to pay for weekly collections ? No. Didn't think so.


Edis said...

Quick quiery - hoping this does not breach any commercial confidentialities remaining from the tenders.

Did any of the offers include 'dual purpose' collections - where a single collection truck takes in both general and recyclable waste streams in separate compartments?

Anonymous said...

Just sort of tripe you would expect from "A teacher, former councillor, ranter ... with a degree in useless information."

Norfolk Blogger said...

Ah, the bravery of an anonymous poster. Always so brave when they attack.

The difference is that

1) I have discussed waste contracts, asked the questions and read the tenders.

2) I have lived in two areas with fortnightly collections (currently living in a Tory District where they have been inplace for about 5 years.)

Your credentials ? Anyonymous abuse. Very brave indeed.

Norfolk Blogger said...

The problem is with dual collections at the same time is that when I sat in on the tendering process (4 years ago) there were no contracters prepared to tender who could offer a dual collection due to problems of cross contamination. We were advised by them at the time that no company offered such a scheme.

Edis said...

Interesting. Those tendering to your authority four years ago misinformed your authority twice. The dual-collection system in Milton Keynes was already in operation with no cross contamination problems that I know of and obviously our contractors offer the scheme.

The key in MK is not to use wheely bins as these slow up collection hugely so you need more lorries to cover the ground in the same time.

Norfolk Blogger said...

But what is your recycling rate ?

We had to go for a system that would guarantee at least a 36% recycling rate or the government would fine us.

We therefore asked for tenders from firms who would offer a system that was tried and tested to give at least a 35% rate. If MK wasn't hitting 36% four years ago then they would not have offered this and were correct in saying that there was no dual collection system at the time.

Edis said...

Liberal Democrats took over MK in 2002 when the rubbish collection was fortnightly and the recycling figures rubbish. We too were faced with fines if we didn't improve matteras. We introduced weekly collections as part of the strategy for improving recycling. The rate shot up and it will beat 36% this year for sure.

Norfolk Blogger said...

That's interesting because our recylcing rate went from 16% to 39% in about 18 months. The fact that you are now only just hitting 36% is probably why we received no tenders on the basis of your contract as there was no evidence that it would acheive 36% guaranteed, and we needed that guarantee.