LATE TO THE PARTY - WASTE COLLECTION

We're certain the subject of Colchester Borough Council's plans for waste collection will have previously discussed ad nauseam, however, we were only very recently aware that it is planned that household non-recyclable waste will be collected fortnightly rather than weekly and that households will be limited to two black bags.  And are we correct in thinking we'll have to supply them ourselves?

Our questions are (if anyone can supply the answers):
1. How do we dispose of used cat litter from a multi-cat household?  Under the hazy regulations prevailing, cat litter can be mixed with general household waste but that will mean at least four bags per collection.  And what about other small domestic pets' bedding and waste?  Insufficient quantity to arrange collection under the regulations covering catteries, shelters and breeding premises, have these problems even been considered or raised?
2.  Where do we store filled bags - on the pavements?  Great for keeping the parish and the borough tidy and hygienically safe!
3.  How does a household of say, one mother and four daughters dispose of their used sanitary towels/tampon tubes?  In said bags left out for collection over a period (pardon the pun) of two weeks?
4.  What happens to unused animal food that is prohibited from putting in the food collection bins?  Has anyone even thought about that?  Cats, rats and any other animal tearing open the bags so say nothing of the smell!  Brilliant.
5.  Will soiled babies' nappies also be left to cook nicely in plastic bags during the summer whilst sitting on the pavement?
6.  Did anyone consider that finding somewhere to store filled black bags other than on the pavement is impossible for most people?
7.  Why in Wivenhoe is it impossible to have wheelie bins?  Arguments against were mostly geared to the Dutch Quarter in Colchester.  If wheelie bins can be collected from the tiny, narrow streets of St Ives in Cornwall and in similar locations across the country, what prevents the issue and/or purchase of wheelie bins for households in Wivenhoe where the streets are far wider? Parked cars a problem?  Not in St Ives or for many other areas come to that.
8.  What do we do with incontinence pads?
9.  What about small supplies of polystyrene peanuts found in parcels received in individuals' homes?  A trip to a Waste Recycling Plant?  Easy for those without a car.
10. Andrex widely advertises its toilet wipes which should never be flushed down a toilet (contact Anglian Water for confirmation).  They’ll make odiferous companions to the soiled nappies.

Finally, to apply for an exemption covering some of the above and to allow a weekly collection or greater number of bags, we can expect a visit from the Waste Police who will scrutinize what we currently re-cycle and then reach a decision.  We believe, taking sanitary towels, nappies, incontinence pads and pet food and used animal waste into consideration, that might qualify most of Wivenhoe's households!

Returning on a Wednesday morning from a month's holiday, we were dismayed to see black bin bags littering Wivenhoe's roads. Never before had it struck us that they made Wivenhoe appear a slum district and we felt ashamed.  Along our journey, we had seen neat rows of wheelie bins in surrounding villages.  To be met with such a dismal site in our own town, made us hang our heads.  What has happened to our sense of pride?


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Comments

  • edited May 29
    I'm all for wheelie bins, in fact, I use one to store my rubbish (which I then have to take out and put by the side of the road, and hide the wheelie bin at the back of my house so as not to offend anyone). I used to live in a small Victorian house, and wheelie bins worked fine there (you just get half sized ones).

    I think there has just been a small amount of very vocal opposition to them, which doesn't seem based on experience but a thing about change.

    I agree pet food should be recycled (it was in the last place I lived). I hate putting food in the general waste because it smells.
  • My biggest concern is the strong possibility of black bins being dumped outside other people's homes by residents of households that have more than 3 bags of waste. Yeah, they should recycle like the rest of us but based on current behaviour, I can think of a small amount of my neighbours that will see the dumping of their rubbish elsewhere as a far more appealing option. Personally, I plan to place my filled black bags in my garage inside one of those bins meant for outside that has a tight closing lid. That will hopefully prevent any trouble from unpleasant sites, odours and rodents. For those without a garage, the right bin placed in a rear garden should be fine too. And let us remember the main reason for these changes: funding cuts imposed by our Tory government :)
  • That's not quite true @bertie. CBC claims that the changes are being introduced to encourage more recycling.

    https://beta.colchester.gov.uk/knowledgebase/article/KA-01023
  • From the section about rubbish collection in the thread about the WTC Annual meeting:

    Another resident added: "We're paying the same Council Tax that we paid last year."

    A: "There has been a reduction in the central government settlement."

    ...which would suggest cuts are also a factor.

    Personally I'm not a fan of the big green wheelie-carbuncles having seen them dot the landscape where my mother lives. I have depressing visons of a future in which most front gardens are paved-over car and wheelie-bin parks.

    It is good to encourage recycling, but reducing waste collection to fortnightly is a backward step. I share Bertie's concern about bags being dumped in front of other people's houses. Already had that issue here with some of the recycling bags (put out on the wrong week) left outside our property.

    If government were serious about reducing waste they would tackle the problem at source, encouraging manufacturers and retailers to use less packaging. As an anecdotal example, I recently compared prices of loose vs packaged apples in a local supermarket and found the packaged variety to be cheaper.



  • Well we all go round the houses with this one, don't we? I've used wheelie bins, and find them pretty neat and very convenient (easy to move, for example). People, and houses, adapt, they do. But they seem to cause massive anger (there's slightly less anger it seems when it comes to environmental destruction, but maybe that's all too big to cope with).

    I tend to think inducements are better than penalties, on the whole, and I'm not sure general waste collection every two weeks is a good idea (nor the limit). Though as we do thorough recycling our household only produces one bag a week anyway, so it doesn't make much difference to me.
  • It does not seem to be very easy to find out from the Borough website what the rules are but I think it is possible to apply for an exemption to the three bag rule.

    The waste and recycling website is currently a disaster.  There is a request for feedback on the new site but this does not work.
  • Treestump and Bertie have hit the nail on the head.  A small vociferous group has drowned out majority opinion. Bertie is quite correct in voicing his fears about other households dumping their bags at other premises.  If the irresponsible can fly-tip why not do it on your virtual doorstep, some might reason.

    As for the re-cycling arguments put forth by CBC, they simply don't hold water or add up, are complete hogwash AND they are patronising.  The bottom line is that CBC will go to any length to cut costs to the overall detriment of the appearance of our locality and possible health risks to the public.

    Maybe and I stress maybe, a collective refusal by Wivenhoe residents to store filled black refuse bags anywhere other than on the pavements might bring these penny-pinching councillors to their senses especially if we continue to use as many bags as we feel necessary.  Overwhelming and perhaps stinking piles of split bags spilling their putrefying contents should open a few eyes at the Town Hall the more so if we have a summer of heatwaves.  As for this CBC decision - IT STINKS!  A temporary abandonment of civic pride seems a small price to pay for civic victory.  Long live vox populi.

  • edited May 29
    Treestump and Bertie have hit the nail on the head.  A small vociferous group has drowned out majority opinion.

    The 'small and vociferous group' are the ward Cllr's who put forward their views on the suitability of wheelie bins for our patch.

    From Cabinet [pdf], December 2016:

    "Following the Scrutiny meeting on 21 September 2016 all Ward Councillors were asked if they felt their Wards would support the introduction of wheeled bins. This information has been one of the fundamental elements of deciding where wheeled bins would be implemented.
    The exact wording that our ward Cllr's were asked:

    "As you know we are working on changes to our Waste & Recycling collection methods with an aim to increase recycling and decrease residual waste. One element of this is to identify some areas of the Borough where wheelie bins could be introduced. The consultation has given some indications of where residents would be amenable to the use of wheelie bins and a commitment has been made to consult all ward Councillors to establish their views as well. We are now asking you if you would support the use of wheelie bins in all or part of your ward. If you feel that only parts of your ward are suitable for wheelie bins it would be helpful if you could give broad indications of which areas these are."
    For Wivenhoe: no member support.
  • If Wivenhoe were to become its own district council (again) we would sort out waste collection ourselves.

    Essex County Council would still be responsible for the disposal of the waste.

    I don't think we'd have a problem funding the provision that service (or housing, planning, recreation, environmental health or revenue collection for that matter) given how much council tax Wivenhoe as a town raises.

    Interestingly the ward boundary for Wivenhoe goes north of the A133 quite some way which would make for an odd situation with regard to the garden village as a large part of it would become subject to Wivenhoe Districts Council's planning department....

    Not to mention that any houses build prior to independence would then also become part of Wivenhoe District so all this new council tax revenue would go to Wivenhoe District Council rather than Colchester Borough Council.


  • There is no pavement behind or in front of my house. Any wheely bins put out would be in the road, and a whole street's worth would stop the traffic.
  • ... A small vociferous group has drowned out majority opinion...

    Not quite.
    http://www.wivenhoeforum.co.uk/discussion/comment/48082/#Comment_48082
  • Well, WE certainly weren't consulted neither did we see any publicity surrounding an opinion-seeking poll.  Those who were 'in the know' seem to be the vociferous minority.

    Regarding having no space at either the front or back of individual premises to accommodate a wheelie bin, OTHER councils can and will collect black waste disposal bags in such cases.  We're starting to feel 'Come off it - stop putting up unnecessary obstacles and start tackling what is not only a contentious issue but one which affects the whole Wivenhoe community'.  Why wasn't the whole of Wivenhoe consulted?  Not everyone is on line or members of the Wivenhoe Forum neither does everyone take a local paper.  If WTC had considered the seriousness of this matter and truly wanted to garner local opinion, it should have contacted every household... funny that come election time candidates can find people to do their canvassing and do it personally.
  • @Vixfoxwatch The Wivenhoe Forum and WTC had no role in the consultation. This was a borough matter.
  • The consultation was flagged up on the Forum.  It featured in the local press and appeared in the Borough's online list of public consultations.  I do not know if it was mentioned on Colne Radio.  It would be very expensive for the Borough to communicate with every household to alert them to every consultation it conducts.  I am not sure how many responses there were from Wivenhoe (Rosalind might know) but the majority in the ward were against the imposition of wheelie bins.
  • May we go back to our original posting?  From some of the responses, it would appear that not all people have read it properly or our follow-ups because they have strayed way off what we've written.

    At least we seem to have found answers to a few of our questions posed on CBC's updated website (https://beta.colchester.gov.uk/knowledgebase/article/KA-01072).  It's amusing to see how conflicting its lists of acceptable items for household waste are.  On one list it's claimed PET WASTE is unacceptable and on the following list immediately below it states PET LITTER AND WASTE is acceptable.  A very clear demonstration of CBC's inadequacies, incompetence and inability to think anything through with any degree of intelligence.

    Before we get too cosy in the assumption that everyone knows everyone in Wivenhoe, who is Rosalind?  We don't know and perhaps others might not.  And it's of little purpose to state that information on the consultation could have been found on the Forum if members of the public were not members at the time - we weren't.  Didn't we make it clear that, quote: 'Not everyone is on line or members of the Wivenhoe Forum neither does everyone take a local paper.' Again, please read comments thoroughly before replying!

    No-one is asking the Borough to communicate with every household on every consultation it conducts, but we do expect it to communicate effectively and comprehensively on such an important issue as this.

    This is also from CBC's new website:

    Why have you decided to discontinue free black bags?  

    There are two main reasons as to why we have stopped giving out free black sacks. 

    One is cost, we will save around £100,000 by stopping providing them. 

    The other important reason is that we want to encourage everyone to recycle more. 

    Money speaks, doesn't it?   And the word is encouraging not FORCING.

    These changes, which were approved by Cabinet on Tuesday 20 of December 2016, include:

    • Wheelie bins will be introduced to some areas of our Borough. These areas will get a black wheelie bin for non-recyclable rubbish and a brown wheelie bin for garden waste. 
    • Introducing fortnightly collections of non-recyclable rubbish (black bags and black wheelie bins).
    • Setting the maximum number of black sacks per household to three.
    • We will no longer provide a delivery of free black sacks every year.
    Ah-ha, so SOME areas of the Borough will have wheelie bins will they?  Would they/could they be those more affluent parts of the Borough where nasty, untidy, smelly bags would be offensive to delicate sensitivities and nasal passages?

    WASTE LIMIT EXEMPTION

    PLEASE NOTE:

    You may qualify for an exemption if:

    • You already recycle everything you can, and

    In black bag areas

    • You have a large quantity of non-recyclable rubbish which means you are unable to meet the fortnightly limit of three black bags per household (totalling no more than 180 litres). For example, you need to dispose of large amounts of ‘offensive waste’ or you have a large family.

    Your application will be reviewed by one of our team who will contact you by telephone to discuss this with you.

    To help us make a decision, you will be visited at your home by a recycling advisor to discuss your request. You will need to show us that you make full use of our recycling and food waste service.

    Smacks of Gestapo tactics, doesn't it?  "Yes sir, we have a waste disposal unit and religiously trot down to the recycling bins with our one or two bottles and cans, but we humbly and grovellingly beg you to dispose of our cat litter and need four bags in which to do it".

    If there is such overwhelming (and we don't think that's true) opposition to wheelie bins, then are we to assume that Wivenhoe residents prefer filthy streets and bow down to this ludicrous measure of having but one waste disposal collection every two weeks?  Where this has been implemented by other District and Borough Councils, wheelie bins have been issued.  Unsightly?  Which would residents prefer, clean bins or piles of revolting bin bags?  And hasn't anyone heard of the myriad methods of making bins more attractive?  We thought Wivenhoe was an artists' paradise, so let's draw on their artistic skills. A competition for the best decorated wheelie bin. Prize: a roll of black bin bags.

    Perhaps in the final analysis, the clouds of flies and mass of maggots will have the casting vote.

  • edited May 30
    @Vixfoxwatch people haven't strayed away from your original posting. They have tried to help you to understand the process as to how the wheelie bin consultation took place.

    Rosalind is a Labour borough Cllr who represents Wivenhoe ward. She also wants to be your next MP.

    There is only so much that a local authority can do when it comes to communication. The channels are out there, these were used. Sometimes you just have to be a little more active, rather than assume that you will be sign posted. I got a little fed up with many different platforms reminding me about the consultation. I got the message.

    I wouldn't get too angry about the language used by CBC. 'Encouraging' sounds very positive. Did you you expect a local authority to declare online that it is 'forcing' people to switch to a new system?

    If you look at the areas that will be using wheelie bins then you will see that they are not the most affluent parts of the borough. The consultation found that they are the areas that are best suited to wheelie bin access.

    As for the 'Gestapo tactic' - OH HAI Godwin's Law. It's not very helpful and discredits some of the decent points that you have raised.

    It's about a conversation. The CBC Zone Warden at the WTC Annual Meeting was very keen to explain this. The Zone Team wants to work with residents to help them make the new arrangements work for everyone.
  • edited May 30
    @Vixvoxwatch ; think best thing is not to get too angry and start casting about for people to blame. I agree with you that probably what was consulted was received or vocal opinion (there are some traditionalists on WTC) but, bar the fact they have to get communications sorted at at CBC, waste collection seems pretty efficient here, if a bit overcomplicated.

    I also do get why people get upset about wheelie bins in a historic place like Wivenhoe. Unfortunately 50 years ago there wasn't the level of consumption or waste there is now (ahem much less to eat and buy), and now the situation is different and councils have to do something. 

    @Vixvoxwatch is quite right. Where there is no room for wheelie bins people can still put bags out. The problem becomes storage. Maybe a retreat is in the cards (sometimes happens that councils trial these things and they don't work)?

    But personally I'd quite like to have wheelie bins, since I just find them easier and you don't have to store rubbish in your house. And when I've used them before I've always worked on concealing them.

    And as for ugliness, I personally find sky dishes and the ever expanding cars more ugly, but dealing with that is a long way off I guess.

  • Just a quick question ....has anyone received the new waste disposal calendar? We had one earlier in the year saying things will change in June....when? Our usual black bag collection is Weds morning but I don't know if it will be a fortnight round until the next collection. Those little 'pin on the fridge' calendars would be useful. Also will the food bins, plastic, paper and glass still be collected weekly?
    And finally if there are less collections does that mean less workforce, so will there be redundancies among the waste collection staff? What happens to them? Is that where the saving of £100K will be found? Who worked out those figures?
  • Nellie said:
    Just a quick question ....has anyone received the new waste disposal calendar? We had one earlier in the year saying things will change in June....when? Our usual black bag collection is Weds morning but I don't know if it will be a fortnight round until the next collection. Those little 'pin on the fridge' calendars would be useful. Also will the food bins, plastic, paper and glass still be collected weekly?
    And finally if there are less collections does that mean less workforce, so will there be redundancies among the waste collection staff? What happens to them? Is that where the saving of £100K will be found? Who worked out those figures?


    The new Colchester recycling website states that the new service begins on the 20th of June. I would imagine that we will receive the updated calendars and any other information before then.

    https://beta.colchester.gov.uk/

  • kstkst
    edited May 30
    From the website

    "A roll of 45 bags, of the same size and quality that we have issued, can be bought from Poundland. 

    It would be £2 to buy two rolls of these which would last you for the whole year and you would get more sacks than if we had provided them. 

    The maximum size of black bag that can be used is 60 litres. "

    45 bags for a £1 ? !!

    ALSO

    Will pick-ups for missed collections go on as normal?   


    Yes they will. 


    We will pick up your reported missed collection within 48 working hours.

    Handy to make use of this!!

  • @Nellie here [pdf] is the recycling calendar through until the end of next month. CBC will be publishing the new calendars ahead of the change. The day of collection will be confirmed when the new calendar is available.

    Food bin collections will remain weekly. Plastic, paper, glass and garden waste will remain on alternate weeks [pdf p,23].

    The savings appear to come from the materials, and not the workforce.

    The figures were worked out by the ex-PH for Waste, Cllr Dominic Graham. He is after your vote as the LibDem candidate for Harwich and North Essex, having stepped down from Cabinet to "focus on his Westminster ambitions."

  • One of my neighbours uses the red disposal bins in the streets to dispose of pet waste, maybe an option for others?
  • All,

    For the record, my personal view is that what is being proposed is vile and disgusting, and is a huge step backwards in terms of public health and hygiene.

    I did make my views known (as did other WTC Councillors) at the recent town meeting, when we had a presentation from CBC.  My wife was even more vociferous because in her home town (Bordeaux) they have 3 refuse collections per week in addition to the recycling collections.

    One other point of detail from the Town Meeting, and which has been missed out of this thread, is that CBC Officers advised the audience that if we wished to dump more than the permitted three bags we should drive them to the tip. I made my views about this known too, hardly environmentally friendly!

    I stress that I am making my personal views known here, but if anybody wishes to contact me about it, please PM me.

    Thanks.

    MikeNewton


  • All,

    One other point of detail from the Town Meeting, and which has been missed out of this thread, is that CBC Officers advised the audience that if we wished to dump more than the permitted three bags we should drive them to the tip. I made my views about this known too, hardly environmentally friendly!


    Thanks.

    MikeNewton


    That (rather blinkered) solution also assumes everyone drives.
  • adrian said:

    All,

    One other point of detail from the Town Meeting, and which has been missed out of this thread, is that CBC Officers advised the audience that if we wished to dump more than the permitted three bags we should drive them to the tip. I made my views about this known too, hardly environmentally friendly!


    Thanks.

    MikeNewton


    That (rather blinkered) solution also assumes everyone drives.


    Adrian,

    You are right!  It assumes everyone drives, and that nobody cares about the environmental costs, and that everyone's time is worth so little that they can spend a couple of hours now and again to go to the tip.

    Thanks.

    MikeNewton

  • Dear all,

    We agree completely with Mike Newton on all the points he raises - WELL DONE MIKE and thanks for making your and your wife's views so abundantly clear.

    Gert and KST also say something interesting.  Gert suggests using red bags to dispose of pet waste (sensible) whilst KST speaks of bags obtainable from Poundland and being of the same quality as those issued by CBC.  We can only speak from experience that the issued bags are of inferior quality: dreadfully thin and easily torn - for goodness sake don't snag them on bushes - and on five different occasions, the seams at the bottom weren't sealed properly and all the contents fell out!  Complaints to CBC were met with whitewash excuses.  Since then, we've purchased our own bags from an excellent on-line wholesaler with whom we have an account (ohmypackaging.co.uk/janitorial-products/refuse-sacks-and-bin-liners).  We use 180 gauge heavy duty bags (Product Code: JANHURRICANE) for pet waste and 160 gauge bags (Product Code: JANHAIL) for household waste - thicker and stronger by far than those from CBC which, correct us if we're wrong, are 120 gauge. These would equate with those sold by Poundland presumably.  We guarantee that Oh my Packaging bags will not fail - they're super-strong.

    "It would be £2 to buy two rolls of these which would last you for the whole year and you would get more sacks than if we had provided them."  Hee, hee, why didn't CBC follow its own advice and buy their supplies from Poundland? 

    Angry?  Yes of course we're angry - angry with CBC for bringing out retrograde and despicable new waste disposal policies.  And we don't buy in to its excuses about putting wheelie bins in 'more suitable' areas.

    Nellie: we concur - no-one has made mention of possible redundancies and no-one appears to know the answer.

    It would seem CBC wishes to abrogate as many of its lawful responsibilities for the collection of household waste materials and supply of ways in which to dispose of them as possible.

  • The coop do strong bags too - perfectly adequate. I believe they also do long wheelie bin black bags - food for thought...

    The only thing I'll say again is that, where this twice monthly collection has been trialled, it tends to be revoked fairly quickly from what I can read.

    I think councils are under huge pressure to cut costs, and it's not their fault actually. It's the CG budget which has been cut by austerity, and everywhere it's a case of who gets locked out of social support first. It's no use getting angry at CBC. Working out council spending plans is a horrible task right now. Totally miserable and soul-destroying experience for those involved. I think we should try and be understanding while making whatever case you want to make, politely and empathetically. Mostly, direct anger in the right place, because this constant rock throwing at CBC, just because you can see it and because there are some folk out there who want to be liberated from Colchester, is not helpful imo.

    There is something you can all do to change this, on June 8th....

  • We take your point, Treestump, and appreciate that councils are more than hard pressed by swingeing government cuts.  Come 8 June, we'll certainly make our mark in the right box.

    Going somewhat off beam.... we wouldn't mind a decent rise in Council tax if it were directed at Social Care - a criminally underfunded area.  However, such an increase would have to be ring-fenced to ensure the additional funds went to the right place.

    It's comforting to know that Wivenhoe residents are not only well balanced but very social-minded people.  Wivenhoe is a place of which to be proud.  It may have its faults, but open discussion and collectively making the right suggestions can work wonders and help iron out problems before they reach disproportionate heights.
  • We take your point, Treestump, and appreciate that councils are more than hard pressed by swingeing government cuts.  Come 8 June, we'll certainly make our mark in the right box.

    Going somewhat off beam.... we wouldn't mind a decent rise in Council tax if it were directed at Social Care - a criminally underfunded area.  However, such an increase would have to be ring-fenced to ensure the additional funds went to the right place.

    It's comforting to know that Wivenhoe residents are not only well balanced but very social-minded people.  Wivenhoe is a place of which to be proud.  It may have its faults, but open discussion and collectively making the right suggestions can work wonders and help iron out problems before they reach disproportionate heights.
    Completely agree with you. Wivenhoe has more than its fair share of clever and motivated folk who can use their imaginations and ideas to change things for the better. Just feels that sometimes we all get stuck on a fairly negative train of thought that is more grumbling than discussion. Unnecessarily really but perhaps a reflection of feeling isolated and powerless in this rather demented political scene in Essex.

  • I have moved here recently from Wales where fortnightly collections and wheely bins have been in use for years as part of a Welsh Assembly strategy on recycling.  This has led to 60% recycling rates across the whole country including very rural areas, and historic high density housing (e.g. Conwy).  There has been resistance, and recent scare stories in the national press about a move to three weekly collections, but overall it has helped boost recycling.  Recycling rates in Colchester are less than 50% and in Tendring are absolutely appalling - they do not collect glass at the kerbside, and only very limited plastics.  Whilst readers of this forum I am sure are already recycling, the move should help move those who previously didn't bother - definitely a desirable outcome,  Have a look at this map for information on recycling rates
     http://www.sita.co.uk/waste-as-a-resource/recycling-in-the-uk
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