Issue - meetings

Future Service Design of Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing Services

Meeting: 28/09/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 149)


This report seeks the authority to proceed with a Competitive Dialogue procurement for the waste & recycling collection and street cleansing contract due to expire in May 2025. The report is based on outcomes from the Member lead joint working group between East Herts Council (EHC) and North Herts Council (NHC) and identifies key service changes affecting the contract specification drafting. The key drivers for the services changes are set in the context of the pending national Resources and Waste Strategy and the financial challenges authorities are facing which is exacerbated by inflationary pressures. The report covers details of both EHC and NHC changes in order to fully identify the impacts across the shared service.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the comments from Overview and Scrutiny, as outlined in detail in the minutes of the meeting, be added to Appendix 12 of the Cabinet report, to be noted and considered by Cabinet before making the substantive decision.


Audio recording – 128 minutes 15 seconds


N.B. Councillor Val Bryant returned to the meeting following the conclusion of Agenda Item 10. Councillor Alistair Willoughby noted that, as he was part of the waste arrangement workshops, he would be recusing himself from this item.


Councillor Amy Allen, as Executive Member for Recycling and Waste, presented the report entitled ‘Future Service Design of Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing Services’ and advised of the following:


·       The report seeks authority to proceed with a dialogue to agree a new waste service arrangement from 2025.

·       The report is based on outcomes from the joint working group between East and North Herts Council, and the details of changes to both services are included.

·       The key drivers for the changes are the impending national Resources and Waste Strategy and the financial pressures on Councils.

·       The proposed changes are to make the service more financially and environmentally sustainable.

·       The particular changes Members are asked to endorse are the reduction of residual waste, supported by weekly food waste collection and two weekly recycling. The textiles and battery collection service will be stopped.

·       These changes will be supported by communications and funding for additional staff.


The Shared Waste Service Manager noted that in the report, point 8.31 should read 122 tonnes, not 122k tonnes as written.


Councillor Adam Compton noted that Members at the workshopsdid come up with consensus on proposals but this was based on the options provided.


N.B. Following his comment, Councillor Adam Compton advised that he had also taken part in the waste workshop and would recuse himself from this item.


The following Members asked questions:


·       Councillor Carol Stanier

·       Councillor George Davies

·       Councillor David Levett

·       Councillor Claire Strong

·       Councillor Val Bryant

·       Councillor Raj Bhakar


In response to questions, the Shared Waste Service Manager advised:


·       In terms of items like pet litter and faeces it is accepted that the smell is not pleasant, but it is in a bin with a lid and there are alternative options available for this.

·       In terms of nappy waste provision for this will be made and full details of this policy will be provided in spring 2023 to allow for conversations with providers.

·       Confusion over the new cycle will rely on the digital side of the services, with options for communication regarding this to be explored.

·       The Council is unable to charge for items other than garden waste, and therefore animal bedding cannot be included in the current garden waste bin.

·       Previously Parishes had been offered the chance to buy litter picking kits at cost and would look to do this again.

·       When North Herts introduced the 180 litre residual bin, there was a reduction in general waste, as habits changed to adapt to the new provisions. It was expected that a similar response would happen with these proposed changes.

·       The new Officer role was expected to be in place 6 months before the change, dependent on budgets.

·       Despite current comms, it was apparent from survey responses that residents did  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149