Talks over plans to reduce Calderdale waste and recycling collections

Reducing the frequency of waste and recycling collections when a new service contract is drawn up in two years’ time is among issues being brainstormed  by councillors.

Monday, 13th December 2021, 11:59 am
Updated Monday, 13th December 2021, 9:13 pm

Cutting the frequency of recycling to fortnightly, whether or not collecting food waste weekly was vital and the possibility of moving refuse collection in Calderdale to a three-weekly cycle were all considered by councillors.

However, the feeling among councillors was that weekly food waste collections were important and they were also unhappy at the idea of three-weekly refuse collections.

Calderdale’s waste and recycling service – the latter, impacted by COVID and HGV driver shortage issues resulting in erratic collections in recent months – is contracted out to operator Suez currently.

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Recycling collections in Calderdale

But although the contract still has two years to run, councillors should start thinking now about the sort of service they wanted to see and the trade-offs choices would involve, said Calderdale Council’s Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, who drew up a list questions which the council’s Place Scrutiny Board members might consider.

Coun Regan Dickenson (Con, Rastrick) praised the recycling teams and felt food collections had to be kept weekly.

“I live in a north facing back to back so my stuff doesn’t start cooking in the brown bin – my neighbours opposite, theirs probably does.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea in the summer months,” he said.

Coun Dave Young (Lab, Calder) similarly believed weekly recycling collections should be kept and neither was he sure about the idea of waste refuse collections being stretched to three weeks, particularity if there were more members of households.

“That’s OK for me and my wife – but if you’ve got a family, not so much,” he said.

Coun Guy Beech (Con, Illingworth and Mixenden) agreed weekly food waste collections were essential especially in summer when maggots and rats might become an issue.

Recently a petition with around 1,600 signatures had been submitted opposing three-weekly collections, said Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland).

Whichever choices were made, communication if there were problems and consistency of service were key, and the council should look to “futureproof” services where possible, he said.

Coun Stephanie Clarke (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) agreed: “Consistency of service is important, whichever schedule does that is the way to do it,” she said.

Board Chair Coun Peter Caffrey (Con, Northowram and Shelf) asked how much flexibility was built into contracts.

Coun Sarah Courtney (Lab, Calder) wanted to see more things recycled, for example the thin plastic film and filler in many containers, and Coun Audrey Smith (Lab, Sowerby Bridge) raised the prospect of a one-off free bulk waste for residents who did not have a vehicle and so could not access the recycling centres.

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