Derbyshire Dales council to vote on waste and recycling changes

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Derbyshire Dales District Council will meet next week to vote on recommendations for its new waste and recycling contract, including a charge for garden waste collections.

The new contract will come into force in August 2020 but the council recently ran a public consultation on possible changes to the service before the tendering process begins.

A total of 2,629 people responded to the survey and council leader Lewis Rose said: “The future of waste and recycling collections is one of the most significant matters we have considered in recent years and the importance of this service has been clearly demonstrated by the record-breaking public response to our consultation.”

Having considered the resulting feedback, council officers are recommending that weekly food waste collections continue, together with fortnightly collections for dry recycling and residual household waste which cannot be recycled or composted.

However, officers are also recommending an unspecified charge for optional fortnightly collections of garden waste, which they say would bring the district into line almost half of UK councils.

A council report published today states: “Further work is required to consider how the change from a free to a chargeable service can be introduced, as well as the timeframe for the service change.

“The level of the annual charge should not be decided until overall financial costings of the contract are clear.”

Next week’s meeting will also be asked to approve a request that bidders for the contract consider the possibility of moving collections of residual waste to a three week schedule during the lifetime of the contract.

Any such change would take place no earlier than 2024, and only if councillors voted for it at that time based on the possibility of making further budget savings.

Coun Rose said: “The variation has been included on the recommendation of our consultants and it is important to stress that any decision of that nature would be taken by the council elected in 2023 and not the one elected next year.”

Since 2012 the waste collection service in the Dales has been delivered by Serco at a cost of £1.9million per year to the council – or about 67p per household per week.

Changes to the service are being considered in light of budget cuts and market conditions which have seen the value of some recyclable materials fall in recent years while other costs associated with collection have risen.

Dales residents currently recycle or compost 57 per cent of their waste – the best performance in Derbyshire – but the UK is likely to have a legislative target of 65 per cent in the future.

For more information, see https://goo.gl/3Tc5Kq.