Agenda item

Waste Recycling Management Performance

To receive a presentation on Waste Recycling Management Performance.


Jon Sharkey, Head of Public Realm Services gave a presentation and highlighted some of the key points and updates with regards to Waste Recycling Management Performance.


In response, members commented as follows:


1. Cllr Fallart asked what measures the Council was taking to prevent fly-tippers from targeting communal bins. Officers responded that with communal bins, it was hard to assign blame to parties who were not disposing of their waste properly, thus taking action and educating those guilty of it, was difficult. They expressed the Council were trialling new communal bin locations away from main roads where they are less likely to be targeted by fly-tippers, but that it was difficult to find such convenient locations where collection teams could still empty them regularly. Officers assured members that the Council employs Waste Enforcement Teams who are dedicated to housing, and that this and other similar issues were being monitored.

2. Cllr Yuruk queried whether the Council was still providing refuse bins to residents free of charge; what the Council’s position was on collecting bins that were overfilled, and if more public bins could be added to Ordnance Road. Officers replied that bins were provided free of charge, but additional criteria had to be met for residents wanting a larger black bin. They explained that the collection of overfilled bins was at the discretion of Officers, and that while they do usually collect them, the Council website makes clear that bins should not be overfilled; and if this becomes a routine problem it would be recorded, and they may not be collected. Officers stressed that when refuse is not collected, due to bins being overfilled, this is not down to Officers being awkward, but instead because the mechanism on refuse collection trucks is designed for bins that are closed, and open lids could catch, thus represent a safety risk. ACTION for Jon Sharkey - to look at the potential for adding more bins to Ordnance Road.

3. Cllr Laban highlighted that the percentage of refuse being recycled in the borough had fallen since 2019 and questioned whether Officers felt the move to fortnightly collections had been a mistake. Officers explained that the Covid-19 pandemic had significantly impacted on residents’ behaviour and meant they did not have an opportunity to embed their new practices, thus felt a straight comparison of these figures without context was unreflective. They stressed that compared to other Local Authorities, Enfield’s recycling statistics were fairly good, and that they would continue to drive their waste management strategy forwards.

4. Cllr Laban asked what impact the change in contractor from Biffa to NLWA, who were more generous with their rejection threshold, would have on waste performance statistics. Officers confirmed that they hoped this would mean a greater quantity of refuse would be recognised and treated as recycling, thus reducing unnecessary waste.

5. Cllr Laban then queried whether it would be possible to get waste performance statistics on a ward-by-ward basis for comparisons. Officers responded that collection rounds were optimised according to the best routes and were not done on a ward-by-ward basis, thus it would be very difficult to separate the refuse and statistics in this way.

6. Cllr Alexandrou asked if more clothes swap events and ‘fix it factory’ style initiatives could be introduced. Officers replied that as part of their category 2 initiatives, they were looking at increasing the frequency of such events/ facilities including a ‘library of things’ where residents could go to trade and make use of each other’s various items.

7. Cllr Dalkaya pointed out that for many residents in the Borough, their first language was not English, and so asked if more could be done in the way of bi-lingual communication. Officers responded that work was ongoing to develop the Council’s webpages to ensure its information and messages were accessible in all key languages spoken in the borough. Cllr Jewell pointed out that particular emphasis had been placed on working with schools, so that children, who he felt were very aware of and engaged by environmental issues, took these messages home and shared them with their families.  

8. The Chair queried whether an update regarding the parks’ recycling initiative was available, to which Officers replied that they were still analysing the data which they hoped would be available over the next few weeks, but that the initial feedback suggested this pilot scheme had been used well.

9. Cllr Stevens asked to what extent the Council was consulting with residents about the barriers to and challenges of recycling. Officers responded that they engaged with residents at libraries over mis-collections and consulted with them as and when changes were made, but that the scope for this could be widened to receive more/ better feedback. They explained that things were still gradually returning to normal following Covid and as changes come about in the new financial year, it would be a good time to engage more with the community. Officers said they were always welcome to suggestions and new ideas from the public.

10. Cllr Fallart queried whether a comparison looking at collections on different days of the week might be an option, which Officers conveyed was something they had been considering looking into.

11. Cllr Laban asked how closely the Environment Team worked with Planning, particularly with regards to new tower blocks, and whether a recycling shoot, like those already in use for general waste, could be installed in new blocks going forwards. Officers expressed that they were in constant conversation with other departments including Planning, and that talks often centred around what could be done with new developments to ‘design-in’ recycling facilities. They explained that these talks were ongoing, as was communication with other Local Authorities about their green ideas and initiatives, but that cost and viability restrictions often constrained what they were capable of doing.

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