Move to address declining refuse collection reliability in York

Council invests additional £125,000 in waste & recycling services

click to access CYC waste Facebook site

 

Following recent challenges to the Council’s Waste & Recycling Service, Councillors have agreed to spend £125K on improving the resilience of the service.

At a meeting of the Council Executive on Thursday (29th November 2018), it was agreed to use £125k from the waste reserve to recruit and train more staff ahead of the winter season.

Earlier this year a national shortage of HGV drivers, sickness and poor weather caused a number of issues for the Waste & Recycling Service.

In response, improving the service was made a priority; including rectifying missed collections and holding a successful recruitment day for staff in September.

A further report will be taken to an Executive Member decision session next month, recommending a new driver apprentice programme, in order to support the service in the long-term.  If approved, the Council will develop a driver apprentice programme within the waste team to train drivers as early as next year.

Councillor Andrew Waller, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Environment, said:

“This year has been a challenging one for our Waste & Recycling Service, because, like many other areas in the country, we have felt the effects of a national shortage in HGV drivers.”

“Residents have, quite rightly, felt frustrated by missed collections and that is why we have been working hard to identify the best approach to supporting the service amidst these challenges.”

“Therefore, I am pleased that the Council Executive has agreed to invest a further £125K in the service, as this will allow us to immediately take steps in improving the resilience of the service, particularly before the busy Winter period.  This is a short-term measure and one of many we are looking at to support the service.” (more…)

Recycling not collected in part of Chapelfields today

The Council says, “We were unable to collect recycling from a small number of streets in the Chapelfields area because of a vehicle breakdown.

We will be returning to collect the recycling from these properties tomorrow morning. We apologise for the delay in collection and thank you for your patience

All scheduled household and green waste was collected today”.

Follow what is happening on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/CYCwaste/posts/

 

New refuse collection timetables being delivered to homes

…. as Council struggles to fill bin lorry vacancies, new apprenticeship scheme announced

Residents should receive a personalised refuse collection timetable through their letterboxes during the next few days. It covers the next 12 months and explains when to expect collections over the busy Christmas period.

It makes no reference to the One Planet App which was discontinued last week following concerns about hacking. Consequently there is no readily available mobile link which provides up to date information for those on the move.

Green bin emptying has now stopped and will recommence in April

Unfortunately the leaflet, while explaining what can be recycled at the kerbside, fails to explain how to safely dispose of other items such as hard plastics.

Signage at the recycling centres such as Hazel Court is also in need of refreshing.

There is some information on the Councils web site click here

Meanwhile the Council is trying to fill some long term vacancies in its refuse management teams. In recent weeks there have been several occasions when recycling has not been collected. Details are usually posted on their Facebook page (click) each day.

The Council has issued a statement saying,

“Earlier this year, City of York Council made a number of changes to waste services to address some of the challenges it’s faced including a national shortage of HGV drivers, sickness and poor weather.

Whilst the pressures have been on prioritising household waste and box recycling services, as statutory services mandated by public health acts. The consequence of this is that garden waste collections have been the most affected.

In addition to training loaders as LGV/HGV drivers from within the waste services team, a successful recruitment day was also held in September, with an accelerated application process.

In addition this, the council is making further improvements in the coming months to its IT systems, so that drivers can be guided during the rounds, allowing them to flag issues but also accurately record uncompleted rounds. Staff will also be used as drivers and loaders so that if there is a shortage of either, the council can use existing staff to help.

There is also an opportunity to replace the council fleet over the next few years. The majority of the current vehicles are due to be paid for at the end of this financial year and work has started to specify the fleet.  New vehicles are expected to arrive in 2020.

More can be done though and on top of the above, a report will be taken an Executive Member decision session next month, recommending a new driver apprentice programme.

If approved, the council will develop a driver apprentice programme within the waste team to train drivers as early as next year. This would enable staff to be trained and as a result retained by the council”.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “I’d like to thank staff for working extra days to make up for missed collections. We’ve already made a lot of changes to the service but we know more can be done to improve the service’s reliability. So, it’s important that we learn from the challenges the service has faced and the decisions made, so that we can give our front-line crews the chance to provide the best service possible to our residents.”

The decision session meeting takes place on Monday 3 December from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

Sofa dumped in play area

A sofa has been dumped in the Cornlands Road park play area. It is surrounded by rubbish. The issue has been reported to the Council but it is a shame that an area intended for use by younger children should be defaced in this way. Hopefully the Police will be able to increase patrols in the area.

 

Elsewhere at the recycling centre in the Acomb Car Park rubbish has been fly tipped. We’ve asked for the area to be cleaned up and for some of the recycling bins to be repainted.

 

Recycling levels stable in York. Plans to deal with plastic waste

An interesting report to a Council committee meeting which is taking place next week reveals that around 43% of the waste generated in the City is either recycled or composted. The percentage has remained constant over the last 5 years. Around 11,000 tonnes were collected at the kerbside last year

The total weight of rubbish generated last year rose to 83,575 tonnes but is still less than the 2015 peak of 87,069 tonnes

The net cost of kerbside recycling collections is put at £1.2 million per annum

Residual waste from York is now incinerated.

Plastics

The report tackles the vexed issue of plastics recycling. It says,

“Mixed plastic is a term that covers all non-bottle plastic packaging from households. It includes rigid and flexible plastic packaging items of various polymer types and colours and excludes plastic bottles and nonpackaging items.

At the moment plastic bottles are the only plastic material officially accepted in our kerbside recycling collection. They are made of high-grade plastic material PET1 (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and HDPE2 (High Density Polyethylene) which have consistently strong recycling markets in which to sell the material. Mixed plastic, however, can be poorer quality and dirty. These factors, coupled with the instability of the recycling markets, has meant that it has previously not been possible to consider introducing mixed plastics to the existing kerbside recycling collection.

Some mixed plastic is already put into the recycling boxes by residents and we collect it. This low level of ‘contamination’ material is currently acceptable to our contractor (Yorwaste Ltd) because our recycling is mixed with other recycling, thus reducing the overall percentage of contamination.

Black plastic doesn’t reflect light, so cannot be seen and sorted by the scanners in the recycling facility and could end up contaminating other materials such as glass bottles.”

Comingling

The report also seeks to explain why it sometimes appears that items separated for recycling are all put into the same compartment in the bin lorry.

When collecting recycling some crews tip boxes of recycling into separate wheelie bins, once the wheelie bin is full it is then emptied into the relevant compartment in the refuse collection vehicle .There is a perception from some residents that comingling is taking place when it isn’t, as they just see recycling boxes being tipped into a wheelie bin and then into what they think is an ordinary refuse vehicle, not one with separate compartments. We have therefore introduced different coloured wheelie bins for tins/plastic and cardboard/paper.

The report says that some comingled recycling is transported to a processing centre at Seamer Carr.

There are only limited markets for such material and the processing cost (including transfer) for dealing with such material is c.£65 per tonne and we receive no income, we are currently comingling around 320 tonnes per month.

Driver shortages blamed again as more bins not emptied by York Council.

The York Council has issued the following statement;

“Today crews have collected the vast majority of scheduled household, recycling and garden waste.

We have however been unable to collect green waste from some areas due to driver shortages. Areas affected are:

• Fulford South ( Fordlands Road area )
• Naburn
• Elvington

We will endeavour to recollect these bins on Saturday 11th August.

We have also been unable to collect household waste from some sections of the below streets because of blocked access by badly parked cars;

• ‘The Covert’ Hunters Way, off Tadcaster Road
• New Walk Terrace
• Lower Ebor Street

We hope to collect any outstanding waste from these streets tomorrow; therefore please leave your waste it in place and we will collect. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience”.