Missed green bin emptying in Westfield today

Collections were missed in the Thoresby Road part of Westfield Ward today. A vehicle fault was blamed

Council officials have now written to concerned Councillors about the chronic unreliability of the bin emptying service. It has gone in 3 short years from being one of the most praised public services in the city to one of the most criticised.

Pressures on the service have contributed to an increase in litter drift in many areas with post round tidy up sometimes being missed out.

Officials say the problems are mainly caused by “an ageing fleet (directly linked to breakdowns), driver shortages and staff sickness”

“When the service is under pressure, we prioritise household waste collections followed by recycling and then garden waste”

“We are in the process of a wholescale fleet replacement. In the 10 years since the last vehicles were purchased the city has expanded so we need to account for this, however York is a historical city which is both beautiful and incredibly difficult to service in some areas when it comes to waste collection. I want to ensure that the next fleet of vehicles are capable of serving all areas of the city in the safest possible way. Health and safety for staff and residents is top of our agenda”.

“Staffing the service will continue to be a challenge, particularly when it comes to HGV drivers. This is a national problem and experienced by our surrounding Council areas. However, this is also exacerbated in York as we simply don’t have the industries to support this. However, we are investing significantly in developing our own staff through apprenticeship programmes and development opportunities. Working on the frontline in all weather is not a job for the faint hearted. One of the reasons that ‘new’ staff turnover is high is that people underestimate how demanding the job is”.

Unfortunately the service does not seem to have published an improvement programme with milestones. No figures are produced indicating the number of bins that aren’t emptied each day, so it is impossible to test whether the claimed “improvement trajectory” is a reality.

Critically officials are staying tight lipping about when new vehicles are expected in the City or indeed if they have even been ordered.

Many will be surprised that adequate spare resources did not form part of the original vehicle leasing deal.

In other parts of the world more automation has been tried with mixed results

Missed bin collections Wednesday

Recycling was not collected in part of Dringhouses today (“vehicle capacity issue”) and garden waste wasn’t collected from Muncaster (“vehicle breakdown”).

The Council also hasn’t caught up with delayed bin emptying from earlier in the week in Osbaldwick and Woodthorpe

It appears that the Council hasn’t yet placed an order for new vehicles to replace its chronically unreliable existing fleet.

According to a notice published today, a decision on a new “waste collection methodology” won’t be taken until 24th October. Even then it is likely to be several months before the Council actually joins the year long queue for new vehicles.

While refinements to waste management arrangements are needed if we are to recycle more, a greater sense of urgency from the Council leadership, in addressing current unreliability issues, is an essential first step.

15,000 tonnes of green waste collected by York Council last year

A new York Council report reveals that 12,649 tonnes of green (garden) waste was collected from households in the city last year. In addition 2,214 household waste sites generated a further 2.214 tonnes.

The cost of collecting the green waste was £515,000 while disposal cost £267,000.

The green waste is composted and made available free of charge for gardeners.

The Council says that if the green waste went to landfill it would cost taxpayers around £1.5 million. It would not be viable to burn the waste at the Allerton Park incinerator.

The amount of green waste collected for each York household is similar to that produced in the county as a whole. In York charges are only levied for additional bins.

Green bin collections start on Easter Monday

Andrew Waller 

City of York Council is reminding residents that garden waste collections start again from Easter Monday (2 April).

The collections from nearly 67000 homes will run fortnightly until late November.

Last year City of York Council collected just under 13000 tonnes of garden waste from York homes. All this waste is turned into compost, with some for sale at Hazel Court household waste recycling centre.

Councillor Andrew Waller, deputy Leader of City of York Council with responsibility for the environment, said:  
“We run the green bin service when residents do most of their gardening, so Easter Monday is a great time to start this year’s collections.

“For those without a green bin, we offer discounted home compost bins and or they can take garden waste to one of our household waste recycling centres.

“We’d also like to remind all residents that, especially after we make a major change like reintroducing garden waste, the times of collections can change. So please put your bins or boxes out before 7am on your collections day.”

Black bin and recycling collections also continue on the bank holidays.

You can check your bin day on your collection calendar, or online at www.york.gov.uk/refuselookup

You can also get free reminders of all your waste and recycling collections to your smartphone or tablet. Just download the One Planet York app for apple or android.

Residents without a green bin are also able to take garden waste to Hazel Court and Towthorpe Household Waste Recycling Centres. Alternatively, the council offers a special discounted rate on home compost bins. Go to www.york.gov.uk/composting

Additional garden waste collection reminder

City of York Council is reminding residents that an additional one off garden waste collection will take place this month between 19 and 30 January.

Green Bin

This will mean the council will be able to collect all the autumn waste and Christmas trees in green bins.

Please note that Christmas trees must be inside the bin, so please cut it up if necessary.

The green waste collection will take place on the same day as recyclables are scheduled to be collected.

Look up collections or download a 2015 rubbish and recycling calendar at www.york.gov.uk/refuselookup  or call 01904 551551.

During the winter months residents can take additional garden waste to Hazel Court and Towthorpe Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge in a car. Residents using larger vehicles or trailers will need to apply for permits to use the sites.

Home composting is also a great way to manage waste at home and provide nutrient rich compost for gardens. Visit www.getcomposting.com for further information or to purchase a reduced price home compost bin to get started.

Ahead of the new collection season in 2015, households with more than one green wheeled bin can sign up to the additional green bin scheme which operates during the usual garden waste season.   

To join the scheme call 01904 551551 or ‘apply for it’ via our secure website at https://www.york.gov.uk/DoItOnline/

To find out more about the garden waste subscription scheme visit www.york.gov.uk/recycling

Follow @CYCWaste on Twitter, or like CYCWaste on Facebook.

Extra green bin collection dates confirmed

The extra garden waste collections will take place during the weeks commencing 19th and 26th January 2015. 

The collections will be on residents normal recycling collection day.Waste calendar 2015

Christmas trees will also be collected at the same time.

Residents should by now have received a new collection calendar (right).

If not please visit the Council’s Facebook site.

http://www.facebook.com/CYCwaste

Pressure mounting for extra green waste collection

With high temperatures continuing and both hedges and lawns continuing to grow, the York Council has come under increased pressure to make at least one additional green bin emptying visit before Christmas.

Green waste refusebinAll the opposition groups on the Council have written to the responsible Cabinet member (Cllr Merrett) asking for the green bins to be emptied. Labour scrapped the emptying of green bins last year leaving residents without a service between November and March.

An electronic petition is being raised in support of the change

The move is backed by Liberal Democrat Councillors who have issued a statement saying

“We are calling on the Labour Cabinet to organise an additional citywide garden waste collection this month. As was the case last year, Liberal Democrat campaigners have been approached by a number of residents in recent days who are frankly bemused that the last green bin collection of the year will shortly be completed, while leaves are still falling from the trees across York.

“Residents are faced with a choice of burning their garden waste, driving across York to the remaining recycling centres or putting it into their grey waste collection – which will further increase waste sent to landfill and of course increase landfill tax. 

A special garden waste collection is the only sensible option and would show residents that the council is listening to local concerns and determined to take action to reduce landfill tax. 

Cost has been cited as a reason not to act, but given the rising landfill tax costs – it would surely be better for the council to spend the money on collecting the green waste rather than on the additional landfill tax which would result in not collecting the green waste.”

The joint letter from the opposition parties reads:
(more…)

Recycling decline in York – more details published

The Council has now published a table showing the amount of waste recycled/composted each quarter for the last 5 years.

The table (click here) reveals that the lowest level of composting and recycling recorded occurred during the period Oct – Mar 2014.

This coincided with the period when the Labour led council stopped green waste collections

£4 million landfill tax hits York as recycling performance crashes

Council performance stats click to access full report

Council performance stats click to access full report

A Council report has revealed that the amount of waste going to landfill in the City is significantly increasing.

As a result York taxpayers face a £3,918,960 bill – up over 17% on budget forecasts.

The fall in performance comes only weeks after a change in collection arrangements brought chaos to some streets in York.

The position is likely to deteriorate further over the winter as the Council is stopping collecting green waste altogether. The winter months accounted for around 18% of this type of waste last year.

The fear is that most of this will now go to landfill.

Historic recycling rates in York. Click to enlarge

Historic recycling rates in York. Click to enlarge

During the period when the Liberal Democrats led the council the amount of recycling and green waste sent for composting had substantially increased each year.

Now, against a background of delays on the longer term Allerton Park waste treatment project, prospects look increasingly bleak for both taxpayers and environmentalists in the City.