Council to pilot alternate weekly refuse and recyclables collection

Winchester City Council's Cabinet is being asked to approve a pilot scheme for the alternate weekly collection of household refuse and recyclable materials. They will also be asked to confirm a trial to collect garden waste from the kerbside.

If approved by Cabinet on 28 January, the pilot scheme will start in the spring of 2005. It will cover 4,500 households including Micheldever, Sutton Scotney, Wonston, South Wonston, part of Kingsworthy, Abbott's Barton, part of Harestock, Littleton, Crawley, Sparsholt, Hursley and the Southdown area of Shawford / Otterbourne.

In the trial area household rubbish will be collected one week and recyclable materials the next. This will also include a free collection of green garden waste every other week at the kerbside. The garden waste collected will then be composted to provide an organic soil conditioner.

The main purpose of the trial will be to give householders the opportunity to try new refuse and recycling collection arrangements. During the period of the trial their views will be sought and considered to see what adjustments need to be made to the scheme before it is rolled out across the district.

It is anticipated that the £205,000 cost of the 12-month trial will be met by a grant awarded to Hampshire's Project Integra Partnership from the National Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund. The Partnership was recently awarded £5 million from the Government to further improve both the amounts and quality of materials collected for recycling across the County.

"Winchester's residents are very supportive of measures to protect the environment and this is intended to be of benefit to them and the wider community. I have every confidence that the vast majority of residents will support the trial and work with us," said Cllr Jim Wagner, Cabinet portfolio holder for health and well-being.

We want and need to recycle more. From research in the Winchester district we know there are still large amounts of materials being disposed of in refuse bins that, if collected separately, could be recycled," said Cllr Wagner. "Residents should think before they throw anything into the refuse bin - can it be reused? Could it be useful to someone else? Is it made of recoverable material? Could it be composted?

"We need to collect this material and recycle more to reduce landfill, prevent the effect of harmful emissions to the atmosphere, slow down global warming and make the best use of limited natural resources. The cost of waste disposal is also set to rise unless action is taken.

"The only way to deal with this problem is by the community, local authorities and the Government, working together. Taking effective action now to prevent these problems arising in future is therefore in everyone's interest," he added.

The City Council's statutory recycling / composting targets set by the Government are 30% for 2003/04, and 36% for 2005/06.

"Authorities that have performed well in the past and recycled more, such as Winchester, have been set higher targets than poorer performing authorities. This means Winchester has been set some of the highest recycling targets in the country due to its previous achievements. These proposals will help us to meet this challenge," said Cllr Wagner.

Note to Editors
Nationally, waste that is produced is increasing at around 3% per annum and it is forecast that the amount being collected will double by 2020. Unless there is a reduction in the growth of waste, and more recycled, the number of facilities provided to deal with waste will need to be doubled. This will mean more landfill sites, incinerators, processing facilities and increased costs.

During 2002/03 Winchester district householders recycled 16% of their rubbish, well above the national average of 12%, and figures have further improved since then to above 18%.

But while householders in the Winchester district are excellent at recycling, they also produce more waste than in other areas. For example, the amount of waste collected from Winchester's residents in 2002/03 was 402 kg per head, above the average of 357 kg for the top performing 25% of authorities.

Facts and figures

  1. Last year (2002/03) the City Council collected a total of 43,075 tonnes of waste. This material included waste collected directly from the districts' 45,000 households, highway litter and sweepings, litter bins and clinical waste. Of this a total of 6,936 tonnes were recycled. This included materials collected directly from the kerbside (mixed dry recyclables) and a variety of other materials such as glass, textiles, shoes and books collected through a network of sites throughout the district.
  2. The total waste recycled amounted to 16.1%. Winchester's statutory recycling / composting targets are 30% for 2003/04 and 36% for 2005/06. To meet the statutory recycling target the City Council and its householders will need to recycle in excess of an additional 9,000 tonnes per year.
  3. Based on the extensive research programme into the composition of household waste undertaken by Project Integra in 1999, the following quantities of materials are still disposed of annually in the refuse bins of Winchester's residents:
  • 6,000 tonnes of paper, card and cardboard, plastic bottles and cans
  • 4,000 tonnes of garden waste
  • 1,750 tonnes of glass

If most of this material was collected, the Council could meet its recycling targets.