Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda item

Improvements to the Household Recycling Centre and changes to bring bank sites

Report of the Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment introduced the report, he advised that the enhanced kerbside recycling provisions introduced in 2017 had increased the amount of recycling in 2018/19 by an extra 1641 tonnes. He informed the committee that a weekly kerbside recycling service was being investigated and stressed that this did not mean they would be moving to a three weekly residual waste collection.

He explained that they had had a huge response to the previous public consultations which had demonstrated the clear enthusiasm for the household recycling centre, residents had both commented on the quality of the service but also made suggestions for improvements. He was proud of the service they provided at the HRC but acknowledged resident's concerns regarding improvements that could be made. He noted that the Gloucestershire County Councils household recycling centres had reduced their opening hours which had had an impact on the HRC.

 He explained that the council had set out clear priorities to improve the clean and green environment, which had been supported by the motion they had recently passed at Council to declare a climate change emergency. He confirmed that they intended to carry out a complete review of the household recycling centre in order to optimise and expand the re-use and recycling opportunities which could be delivered from the existing site. They had learnt from the consultation that whilst residents were happy with the service, there was clear enthusiasm to expand the recycling facilities. He explained that this work included a review of whether the continued collection of residual and garden waste supported the Council’s priorities. He highlighted that there were environmental and financial considerations as transporting garden waste across town to the HRC was not environmentally friendly, similarly,  removal of the garden waste and residual waste skips could allow the site to focus on recycling, re-use and waste reduction. However, they would be reviewing this subject to further consultation.

He explained that they were also reviewing the retention of the residual waste skip as at present, everything residents deposited in to the skip either went to landfill or the incinerator. However, inspections had indicated that a significant amount of this could have been recycled. They were therefore considering whether this should be retained, or they should consider alternatives in order to maximise recycling opportunities that would otherwise be there. In addition, they were also proposing general improvements to the HRC in order to optimise the site layout, provide better signage, enhance internal safety barriers and fencing and replace existing bring banks within existing budgets. He advised that the site would be shut down for a maximum of 2 days to enable these improvements.

He reiterated that they had not made a decision on whether to remove the residual and garden waste at the HRC but wanted to go out to further consultation to gauge resident’s opinions. They were also proposing to review and increase the range of recycling materials accepted at the household recycling centre for both re-use and recycling to ensure that the environmental and financial benefits were maximised. From the consultation, it had been clear that residents wanted to do more recycling and this was about improving the range of facilities at the HRC in order to allow them to do so.

With regards to the bring bank sites, he confirmed that they were proposing to remove the bring banks on the Asda – Hatherley Lane, Everest Road, Church Piece – Charlton Kings and High Street Car Park sites as these were less well used and in  a poorer condition. He explained that they had to consider the quality of the existing skips and cost of replacing them, there were also health and safety concerns for residents and those servicing the sites that needed to be considered on these 4 sites.

The Leader felt that the suggest approach was a sensible way forward and it was important that they built on the improvements that they had made in 2017  in order to increase recycling provisions.  He reiterated that they would be retaining 8 bring bank sites and brining these up to a more modern standard. He also supported the proposed changes to the recycling centre which would make it more useable and looked forward to the seeing the responses to the consultation.

RESOLVED THAT

 

1.    Authority be delegated to the Managing Director, Place and Growth, in consultation with the Cabinet Member, Clean and Green Environment to:

1.1  Implement improvements to the household recycling centre at Swindon Road to optimise the site layout, provide better signage, enhance internal safety barriers and fencing and replace existing bring banks within existing budgets;

1.2  Agree a suitable date to close the household recycling centre at Swindon Road for a maximum of 2 days to enable the improvements set out at 1.1 to be completed;

1.3  Subject to further public consultation, review the collection of residual waste and garden waste at the household recycling centre and implement any changes necessary to ensure environmental and financial benefits are maximised;

1.4  Review and increase the range of recycling materials accepted at the household recycling centre for both re-use and recycling ensuring environmental and financial benefits are maximised;

2.    Approve the retention of third party bring banks only and the removal of Cheltenham Borough Council provided bring banks on the following sites:  Asda – Hatherley Lane, Everest Road, Church Piece – Charlton Kings and High Street Car Park as soon as possible.

 

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