Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Weekly Waste Collection

You may have seen the recent stories about Arun considering dropping the weekly refuse collection,  Arun is in the process of tendering for a new cleansing contract starting in January 2017, this will cover street cleansing, Weekly refuse collection, street bins and public convenience cleansing.

In the debate at Cabinet I put forward the amendment to continue with weekly collections, I would like to explain why I did this and what my thinking is behind the decisions that we have made on your behalf. 

Arun and six other District Councils in West Sussex are the Collection authorities and West Sussex County Council is the Waste Authority.  One of the biggest challenges facing us is the EU rules on minimum recycling rates, We all have to be up to 50% recycling by 2020, if we don't we face fines from the EU.

Currently the weekly bin collection are taken to land fill, whereas the fortnightly Recycling bins contents are taken to the MRF at Ford, where it is separated and processed.

The recycling once sorted is sold to various manufacturers and Ford has a good reputation for the quality of its recyclables, currently Arun gets a £850k rebate for the sale of these.

Over the next few months the new MBT ( Mechanical Biological Treatment) plant at Horsham will start taking the weekly residual waste that currently goes to Land Fill and this will be processed at the new plant, the food waste will go to an anaerobic digester to power the plant and the remnants of this will go to create fertiliser, Metals will be extracted for recycling and non recyclable plastic will be processed into pellets for incinerators generating electricity from waste.  Any left over waste will go to landfill.

Within the tendering process of the new Arun cleansing contract there is an option to switch to a weekly food waste collection and a fortnightly residual waste, whilst also continuing with fortnightly recycling collection.   This option will not be possible for a number of years because West Sussex County Council can't yet receive food waste which will be counted toward our recycling target  which is critical to avoid the EU fines. 

So whilst I support continuing the weekly collection currently, there is an option to save money by introducing weekly food waste collections and reduce the residual waste to fortnightly, Arun needs to make millions in savings in the next few years, If we can hit the 50% target on recycling and also continue a weekly collection of sorts by collecting food waste, collecting residual and recycling on a fortnightly basis as well as saving money then we will have pulled off a tricky balancing act

Until Next Month,   Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton Ward Member as well as Cabinet member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun DC.  Tel. no: 07725369841  email cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk

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