£2.5m for new bin lorries if recycling collections change

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Friday 29th July 2022 7:00 am
@ChrisABetteley
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New bin lorries for a new kerbside system in Ceredigion to cost £2.5m ()

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BUYING new bin lorries as part of changes to waste collections that could see residents have to split down recycling into several different containers could cost the council £2.5m, a committee has heard.

The Cambrian News reported last week how future changes to Welsh Government recycling targets could see recycling having to be sorted by residents into separate bags and boxes to avoid “contamination” and make it easier to recycle at specific centres, as well as a possible cap on the amount of general waste being collected.

At a meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s thriving communities overview and scrutiny committee, councillors highlighted missed collections, rubbish in the streets, staffing levels and the cost of new refuse vehicles during members’ discussions on the council’s waste service review.

Members heard on Wednesday, 27 July that the costs of waste vehicles ranged from £136,000 to £250,000 depending on size and the number needed by the authority could cost around £2.5million.

With option appraisals taking “considerable time to consider” and a long lead-in time for any new vehicles the council finds it appropriate to commence a review of kerbside and household waste sites this year, a report to committee states.

The suitability of kerbside sort - where residents sort recycling into “paper, plastics, metal cans, glass and cardboard into either three boxes or two boxes and a bag”, rather than the single clear bags currently in use for mixed recycling - in a rural area was raised by officers and members, with reference made to a push from Welsh Government to move towards such a system.

The review will likely be conducted in house by Ceredigion County Council with the help of external consultants, but some members warned that cost would be “enormous”.

Local environmental services manager Gerwyn Jones added that given the age of the current council vehicles, officers are working on the basis of new systems being in place by 2027/28.

He said that the majority of complaints received was about waste left on the streets in Aberystwyth and “if we double the containers how will that help” in reference to the “disadvantages” of kerbside sort.

A report to committee shows that the “rationalized number of options” include business as usual kerbside collection, kerbside-sort, with and without a residual waste volume restriction, options for alternative fuels, non-domestic waste collection and locations such as hard to access properties and high population density, as well as communal recycling bins.

A household waste site review will focus on how changing the number, location, hours of opening and materials accepted at the four facilities in the county would affect cost, performance and what impact would be on service users, as well as “the requirement for the development of modern fit for purpose, accessible and efficient sites.”

The committee approved a recommendation that notes the current situation, identified risks and need for a service review, as well as the appointment of an independent consultancy to carry it out and the scope of the review, with the committee to remain “closely involved.”

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