Councillor Howard asked the Environment Portfolio Holder (Councillor Turner):-
“Could Councillor Turner please clarify the following for me with regard to the domestic waste and recycling contract that Tendring District Council has with Veolia?
1. What is the total cost per annum of the domestic waste collection and recycling contract to Tendring District Council?
2. Should green food waste boxes be returned to properties with their lids closed after collection by Veolia?
3. Should any card, plastic, or cans dropped during collection be picked up by Veolia?
4. Under what circumstances should a black sack be left by Veolia, and should the resident be notified of the reason for a black sack being left by Veolia?”
“Thank you Mr Chairman, thank you Councillor Howard for your questions. Your first point, question one, the total year one cost for the domestic waste and recycling collection contract, and I do love our accurate figures, is £2,635,441. This includes the provision of 52 black refuse sacks for every household, a weekly collection of residual waste and a collection of green recycling materials and food waste. Your second question should Veolia have been operating a procedure whereby the empty caddy is left upside down or with the lid open to indicate that the boxes have been emptied? Officers are aware to return a food caddy with the lid open is not desirable, Veolia have been asked to ensure that all caddies are returned with the lid closed. Three, any card, plastic or cans dropped by the collection crews during collection should be picked up by Veolia and all vehicles are equipped with shovels and brooms. Veolia are not responsible for any materials that are spilled prior to their arrival. Your final question, a black sack will be left by Veolia if it contains garden waste, soil, dangerous objects or if it is excessively heavy. The resident will be notified as to why the sack has not been collected by a white card which is posted through their door. Thank you Chairman.”
Councillor Howard then asked the following supplementary question of the Environment Portfolio Holder:-
“Thank you Councillor Turner. The cost is a bit more than I actually expected there. So basically the green food waste, that is good, that is encouraging, although unfortunately as you may acknowledge, that is not happening at the moment. On two separate surveys in my own ward I have found that 92% were left open and 25% of those were left on their side and the remaining 8% were actually as delivered and not used but obviously you will seek to address that. The card, plastic and cans etc. that are being dropped it is reassuring to hear that they should be picking those up. Once again it doesn’t seem to be happening particularly on windy days which seems to be the biggest problem which may overlap with your issue about dropped prior to collection because obviously if they blow around after residents put them out then they may not pick them up so there was a resident in my ward who collected 33 items of cans and bottles from outside his house. And the black sack, again I think you have confirmed what my understanding is, but once again I have come across a number of incidences that have been reported to me where black sacks have failed to be collected and in none of those has a card been put through and in all of them none of the items that you defined were in the bag. It could be due to weight but weight is one of those sort of matters of judgement really, in the old days a dustman used to pick up a whole bin so obviously a bag which contains a bag of potatoes for example which have been thrown out because they have sprouted should not make it unduly heavy, but this seems to be the case. So the issue really, and the question is, do you think that the public is getting value for money when on your figures there that 34.49% of Tendring residents’ contributions to TDC is actually going on refuse, even with the reduction and the matter is that you often trumpeted the £500,000 saving but of the You Tube’s survey that went on prior to the budget it was in fact refuse that came top of the things that residents would be prepared to have put up. Thank you.”
“Thank you Chairman, thank you Councillor Howard. I’ll try to remember everything you asked me there. Firstly and foremost and I say this to all Councillors if you have any problems just get straight onto myself or my staff, such as June Clare Head of Public Experience and we will get straight in touch with our contractors, I will obviously have them to look at your rural round in Great and Little Oakley. I will look at that obviously, but bear in mind we have got 68,000 properties and they have a learning curve as well, our operatives, we can certainly adjust that and if you do have problems with stuff strewing about the streets let us know and we will get someone out straight away. Secondly, lids should be with us by late summer, early autumn and we’ll explain nearer the date we get them and we’re looking at how they can be distributed or collected at the moment. I will obviously bring that to the next full Council and I am certain Councillor Griffiths will be quizzing me in no uncertain terms in September about that. So that should stop some of the problems that about things being blown about on windy days if you are not leaving your food caddy on top of it or black bag on top of it to hold it in overnight if you put it out the night before. Thirdly with regard, I have to say the figures are very encouraging still I had not come with any final figures that I had hoped to have for this evening to be able to be brought in somewhere in supplementary questions to you but we are still well on the right side of the equation, with increasing our recycling, reducing our landfill so as regards to the black sacks, well obviously as you said it is a matter of judgement but most of them are strapping lads and I certainly find in my ward, the ones that come to Frinton, I find them excellent and I do stop wherever I am travelling and ask and speak to the operatives and ask them what problems they are facing and I have seen it strewn around and I have gone back out there and have seen it all cleaned up. Now all I can say is I speak from my own observations that I am very pleased, in fact I am amazed how good they are. Well obviously we will go and look into the rural rounds, I assume The Oakleys is on round 8 which is a rural round and we will obviously ask them to take special care going through your patch Councillor Howard and other Members as well, so if you have got problems, let us know, we can’t work without knowledge and if you tell us what you want we will do our best to resolve it. Thank you Chairman.”