Colchester Council have confirmed an increase in recycling figures at the latest scrutiny meeting, but ruled out increasing wheelie bins throughout the Borough.
Figures released by Colchester Council suggest more waste is being recycled in Colchester with black sack waste decreasing by 34% in the months July to September 2017, compared to the same period last year.Speaking at the meeting, Anne Hedges Chief Operating Officer for Colchester Council said “An overall reduction of 74kg of waste per household has helped Colchester increase its position in the recycling tables, recycling 55% of waste in 2017 compared with 44% in 2016.
“Green waste collected in the Borough is up by 14%, an increase from 2926 tonnes to 3322 tonnes collected in the same period.”
Thanking Colchester Council staff and officers for their hard work over the past year, Cllr. Sue Lissimore (Con), Ward Councillor for Prettygate suggested “We’re on the right path, but we can do better, education is key.”
Discussing the recent decision to spend money to top-up waste collections in Stanway she continued “It is within the remit of the portfolio holder to make changes to the waste scheme to not only support her own ward, but those across the Borough.
“Our waste and recycling scheme should be the gold standard, the best it should be. Is it right for a locality budget to be used for waste collection?”
Green waste collections have been a topic of conversation of late since a reduction of the garden waste collection service was introduced in June 2017.
The decision by the portfolio holder for waste, Stanway Cllr. Jessica Scott-Boutell (Lib) to use her locality budget for a top-up waste collection sparked controversy last week amid the cuts announced in June.
Cllr. Scott-Boutell confirmed “It is up to the individual ward Councillor how they may use their locality budget. Other Councillors are able to use theirs on waste collections if they want to.”
A Colchester Council spokesperson said “Locality budgets are not used to top-up existing internal services. There are a range of internal services and products which are popular choices for our Councillors, such as benches, bulbs, or litter bins.
“A one off service/event or campaign to tackle waste, litter or recycling may be an option, but this is viewed differently to topping up the standard waste and recycling service provided by the Council.”
On discussing wheelie bins, Cllr. Scott-Boutell went on to say “The decision to roll out wheelie bins in Colchester was taken by the previous portfolio holder.
“I do not want to commit to any further decisions on expanding the service until I have seen an analysis of their current use.
“We need evidence on wheelie bins to see if they have made a difference. We expect this information to be available by the middle of January 2018.”
Stanway is one of several areas where local Councillors voted in favour of introducing them to their respective wards.
When questioned on expanding the service to all properties, Colchester Council agreed to present a plan to the panel on introducing the recycling scheme to flats in Colchester by April 2018.