Agenda item

Bringing the Three weekly Collections Trial to an End

Report by Service Manager (Refuse and Recycling) (attached).


The Committee considered a report by the Service Manager (Refuse and Recycling), (circulated previously), regarding Bringing the Three Weekly Collections Trial to an End.


The Service Manager (Refuse and Recycling) highlighted the following to the Committee:


·         In 2017, the Council selected 3,500 properties (as detailed at Appendix 1 of the report) to take part in a three-weekly recycling trial. These properties in and around Barnstaple had their black bins collected every three weeks and their (unlimited) recycling collected weekly. The trial aimed to reduce black refuse and increase recycling.

·         The trial had now run for 5 years but had initially meant to run for six months.

·         The Council was currently experiencing difficulties in maintaining an efficient and effective recycling service across the district due to resource issues and was not yet in a position to roll out three-weekly collections across the district. If the trial were brought to a close and Council reverted to fortnightly black bin collections across the district, crews and drivers could be reallocated to recycling rounds.

·         There were benefits to the trial but at present the Council did not have the resources available to handle the volume of recycling to be collected.

·         Ending the three-weekly trial would bring everyone in the district under the same service.


In response to a question on how the end of the trial was better than continuing with it.  The Service Manager (Refuse and Recycling) explained that bringing the whole district in line with the same frequency collections meant all the crews could be deployed more efficiently and resolve the operational issues currently experienced.


In response to concerns over communities who had worked hard to reduce waste and recycle more taking a step backwards.  The Chief Executive advised that the capacity and resources were not currently available to cope with the situation as it was.  The idea of moving to three weekly collections had not been abandoned but the Council needed the time to improve resources.


The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive added that there was a commitment to improving the service infrastructure with £750,000 already earmarked in the approved Capital Programme towards the investment.  A report would be presented to members detailing the upgrades that were required at a future full council meeting.


In response to a question about not disenchanting the public from recycling and allowing extra containers to be collected.  The Head of Environmental Enhancement responded that it was important to allow everyone to recycle.




(a)  The three weekly trial be brought to a close, with black bin collections returning to fortnightly in line with the rest of the district;

(b)  Drivers, crews and vehicles from the trial area rounds be redeployed on recycling rounds; and

(c)  The Council evaluate three weekly black bin collections across the whole district when recycling rounds were fully resourced, operating satisfactorily and the infrastructure is in place to handle the material collected; and

(d)  The infrastructure improvements needed to be agreed in principle and that a further report be presented to full Council.

Supporting documents: