Recycling, household rubbish and garden waste subscription collection policies

Appendix 3: bad weather policy

Measures to help deal with operations in extreme weather and snowy conditions and to recover the service if suspended

Monitor weather forecast/updates from:

  • Met Office
  • Staffordshire Civil Contingencies Unit (CCU)

Advise residents to hold off putting recycling boxes out when snow is forecast.

Action required

Communications through:

  • website and/or social media
  • service leaflets

Lead officers

  • Development officer or recycling officer - recycling and fleet cervices
  • Council's commuications team

If snow falls or there is heavy ice

Risk-assess rounds/streets to decide if safe enough to operate/part-operate or suspend collection services. 

If services are deemed to be safe to operate, collection crews undertake dynamic risk assessments as they progress their round.

Please note: productivity could be affected, leading to missed streets. Therefore consider and plan for recovery of the service.

Action required

On site checks of streets and rounds by:

  • Assistant Collection Manager
  • relevant trade union representative

Decision on what to do by Operations Manager.

Continue to monitor throughout the day.

Updates to be given to Customer Services and Communications at:

  • 8:00 a.m
  • 10:00 a.m
  • 12:00 noon

Lead officers

  • Head of Recycling and Fleet services
  • Operations Manager or Collection Managers Recycling and Fleet services

Recovery plan - following snow or heavy ice

If whole service is suspended:

  • garden waste will not be recovered and residents will have to wait until the next scheduled collection
  • refuse and recycling collections will be prioritised, the aim being to get materials off the streets, particularly recycling materials presented in boxes. This will be achieved as follows:
    • food waste will be collected with refuse if refuse is presented, otherwise residents will need to hold until the next scheduled collection
    • recycling will be collected using Garden waste refuse collection vehicles (RCVs). Materials in boxes emptied into slave wheelie bins and comingled in vehicle. This will allow more speed in collections, therefore reducing the time materials are left on the streets. All materials collected in this way will be recycled
    • additional crews sent out when available. Use of streetscene staff if they are unable carry out their normal operations

If operations can commence 'as normal' the following day, then that day's work will be prioritised, to minimise further disruption.

We will take into account that collection operations could be slower, due to any remaining snow/ice. Recovery of the previous day will be undertaken as detailed above using additional resources which otherwise would be collecting garden waste.

Action required

Planning and monitoring of collection operations. 

Use of in-cab technology (Bartec) to monitor collections and rate of completion. Adjust recovery plan as necessary to complete outstanding collections as safely and quickly as possible. 

Ongoing communication through focused campaigns through resident talks, website and social media.

Lead officers

  • Operations Manager or Collection Managers - Recycling and Fleet services
  • Development Officer or Recycling Officer - Recycling and Fleet Services
  • Council's communications team

Recovery plan - dealing with materials for recycling at depot transfer station

  • Existing material bays at depot transfer station to be utilised for comingled material

  • Vehicles will tip in bay entrances and material pushed into bay using site JCB Loadall’s

  • Transfer of material using bulk vehicles to take material to an MRF for separation and recycling

  • Use of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's bulking facility as a backup

  • Commitment to residents that all materials collected for recycling will be recycled

Action required

  • Agreement with an materials recovery facility (MRF) in place to take material for recycling
  • Monitoring of tonnages and vehicle movements and storage capacity
  • Plan/arrange adequate number of bulkers to take material to MRF
  • Communication through focused via website and social media

Lead officers

  • Operations Manager
  • Technical Officers
  • Transfer station supervisor
  • Development Officer - Recycling and Fleet Services
  • Communications team

Additional measures being considered

New recycling collection service, based on a bin system coming into operation in 2020.

  • Action required - build into programme of cabinet and scrutiny meetings
  • Lead officer - Head of Recycling and Fleet services

Increased communications on messages/options

  • Action required - annual communications plan - ‘Smarter communications’
  • Lead officers - Development Officer - Recycling and Fleet services, Communications team