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Consultation Shapes Recycling and Waste Collections

Residents in Newcastle-under-Lyme will be able to access an easier, more efficient recycling and waste service in future. 

This comes as a result of four months of public consultation on the existing service by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, which revealed significant rates of customer dissatisfaction. 

Following the consultation a cross-party Cabinet panel, chaired by Cllr Trevor Johnson the Cabinet member for environment and recycling, has looked into the benefits of a number of systems and have also visited other councils to see how those systems work in practice. 

Cabinet members are to consider supporting a new system, which has been recommended by the panel, at their meeting on 19 September.  

Two viable options have been explored. The first is a twin-stream fortnightly collection service, where paper and cardboard are placed into a receptacle and everything else is co-mingled into one container or bin, except for food which will still be recycled in a food waste container and collected weekly. The other is a fully co-mingled fortnightly system where everything is mixed together, with food again kept separate. 

Cllr. Johnson, said: “We have looked at both options, which have been modelled and costed by council officers, and the panel feels that there is a clear argument in favour of pursuing the twin-stream system. This is what we are recommending to Cabinet.

“It is important to remember that the reason for reviewing the service has been the unhappiness of our residents. The current system has proved too complicated and this has led to obvious frustration for our residents.”

The Council’s Cabinet will also be asked to make a decision about the introduction of a charge for the collection of garden waste following Staffordshire County Council’s decision to cancel credits for garden waste recycling. 

If approved, this would mean an annual fee for residents who take up the service.

Staffordshire County Council’s decision to phase out recycling credits across the county will result in a budget gap of £270,000 for the Borough Council over the next four financial years. 

Cllr Johnson said: “If the Council can provide an all-year round garden waste collection service in future, residents will have to pay an annual fee for that, we simply have no alternative. But, it will be their choice as to whether or not they take up the service.  

“Importantly, I must take this opportunity to thank all those residents who took the time to complete the waste and recycling service online survey, we received more than 1,300 responses which I think is remarkable. 

“We have listened to you and we are taking action to improve things. Your contributions and comments have helped us to shape the way forward. Thank you.” 

The survey, which attracted more responses than any other of the Council’s online surveys to date, underlined dissatisfaction with the current service. A significant majority of respondents were dissatisfied with the type and number of containers and more than half disliked the way the current service is carried out.  

Cabinet will meet to discuss recycling and waste on Wednesday, 19 September.

Last updated 10 September 2018

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