Council admits recycling and waste systems are rubbish

Recycling 1Public consultation was carried out by the Borough Council following a series of issues and problems including large numbers of missed collections.

The council now say that changes will be made to the unpopular recycling service after nearly six out of 10 people surveyed said they were unhappy with how it was working.

The survey received comments from almost 1,300 people – the highest number of respondents to any of the Council’s online consultations. A total of 1,269 people have responded to the council’s online survey – representing one per cent of the borough’s population – with 58 per cent saying they were ‘dissatisfied with the overall recycling service’. There were 117 responses from Kidsgrove & Ravenscliffe and 123 from Talke & Butt Lane – the most of any of the borough’s wards.

A significant majority of the respondents were dissatisfied with the type and number of containers and more than half disliked the way the current service is carried out, although there was a general satisfaction with the frequency of scheduled collections.

It has also been confirmed that the savings forecast, estimated to be around £500,000-a-year, before the service was introduced in 2016 have not all been achieved. This is partly due to changes in the market for recycled materials and a global crash in prices for recycled card and plastic in particular.

Cllr. Trevor Johnson, Cabinet member for environment and recycling – the chair of the Cabinet Panel – said: “The results of this survey are very clear and we will now try to listen to what our residents have said.

“Things clearly need to change and they need to improve. We need a sustainable, cost-effective and reliable recycling and waste service that our residents will be happy with.”

Meanwhile, Staffordshire County Council has announced that it will phase out recycling credits for garden waste in Staffordshire over the next four years.

Staffordshire County Council’s decision to phase out recycling credits across the county will result in a budget gap of £250,000 for the Borough Council over the next four financial years.

Cllr Johnson said: “Garden waste collection is discretionary, which means that the Council is not required to provide the service, and the Borough Council, alongside the other seven districts in Staffordshire, will have to review it. 

“All in all, there are considerable challenges to be faced as we consider the future of the recycling and waste service and how it is delivered. It will be the Panel’s task to listen to what the public have told us and then look at what options may be available.”

The Cabinet Panel will meet later this month.

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