To consider a report on the main findings [to date] from implementing the arrangement in the Meirionnydd Area.
a) Submitted - the report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment reporting on the main findings of implementing a new system of collecting residual waste in the Meirionnydd Area. It was highlighted that the main objective was to increase recycling to avoid paying fines. The recycling target of 58% had to be reached by March 2016 and therefore the arrangements needed to be supported. It was explained that the targets, which were being set out by the Central Government, would continue up to 2025, whereby a recycling target of 70% would be required. It was highlighted that this was the situation facing every Council.
The changes in Meirionnydd had been introduced in June 2015 and in line with the arrangements of the Dwyfor Area, two teams had been established to be responsible for introducing the change - the Executive Team and the Engagement Team. In general, it was noted that the arrangement had been successful and that the figures appeared encouraging. One different element in Meirionnydd was the number of community points, but it was now reported that 30 of those 140 points continued to receive residual collections every two weeks.
The Cabinet Member thanked Meirionnydd residents for their cooperation and also Dwyfor residents for maintaining their performance. It was reported at the end of November that Gwynedd's performance figures (in terms of the National and Statutory measure for recycling) was 58.52% and that these changes were targeted to achieve annual programmed savings of £350k for the Council, which was in addition to not having to pay fines.
b) During the discussion, the following observations were made:
• Thanks were expressed for the reports and it was accepted that the arrangements moved the service in the right direction.
• The workforce was thanked for their service during the severe weather
• Concerns were highlighted about community areas
• Was there an increase in fly tipping?
• Needed to continue to improve tidiness after collecting waste
• The Assembly needed to be reminded again of the need to reduce packaging materials
• It was frustrating that some residents refused to collaborate
• What was a 'wash and squash' campaign?
• Needed to focus on areas containing many houses
• Needed to respond to areas where there was a lack of bin storage space
• A suggestion for the Planning Department to consider 'adequate provision' of bin storage for every relevant application
• When considering street bin recycling - emphasis on simple and clear messages
• People needed to be educated to learn that recycling contributed to their own benefit for the future
• Emphasis on engaging with communities with a request for the executive groups used in Dwyfor and Meirionnydd to collaborate with specific areas to improve sites
c) In response to the above observations, the Head of the Highways and Municipal Service noted that he was very pleased with the work of the workforce and what they had achieved within difficult terms and conditions over the period of severe weather and the Christmas period.
In addition, it was noted that there was an increase in fly tipping, but that this was a pattern which had been seen across Britain and that heavy items such as fridges and construction produce were being tipped and not waste which was collected from houses. The need to implement was agreed upon and members were asked for their support to report on any occasion where fly tipping was/had happened.
In the context of dirty waste (wash and squash), it was reported that this material was being recycled, but that the condition of dirty items provided a cheaper price and the need to share this message with the public was accepted. In terms of tidiness, it was reported that Gwynedd had four new vehicles which aided the workforce and prevented materials from blowing away when they were working.
d) In response to a question regarding the need for an incinerator in Deeside given that there would be a possible decrease in the input, it was noted that the incinerator, when active, contributed 7% to the aim.
e) In response to a question regarding more frequent collections in student and holiday home areas, it was noted that very successful campaigns had been held with students and that there was good collaboration with the Abersoch Holiday Home Agency on establishing a plan for holiday homes in the area. It was also reported that specific work had been undertaken with Commercial Waste and that there was a significant improvement as a result to a change in arrangements, provision and introducing differential fees to retailers.
f) It was accepted that the challenge for the future was a difficult one and it was therefore important to have accurate preparations in place. It was reiterated that the intention was to respond to every community challenge and that it was ongoing work. The current efforts were appreciated and a continuation in good collaboration was encouraged in order to respond to problems/challenges. The observations were appreciated.
a) that the Committee is pleased to see an increase in the waste collection and recycling arrangements and that it was eager to record its appreciation of the staff's hard work, especially during the severe weather
b) that the Committee viewed the need to address some matters as the work was progressing:
· that the Cabinet Member needed to continue to pressurise the Government to do something about reducing the packaging material of goods
· Information should be shared with the Members in general regarding the 'wash and squash' developments to improve the hygiene of the materials being collected
· the Members hoped to see a further improvement in the tidiness when collecting, and were confident that the new machines would facilitate this
· That creative solutions should continue to be sought to the challenges of collecting in populated areas through developing community bins
· That a further increase should be ensured in the engagement and dialogue with residents in order to further improve recycling.
· Need to ensure that on-street recycling arrangements moved on with an emphasis on having simple and easy to read messages for the public on those arrangements
CHRISTMAS AND BOXING DAY ARRANGEMENTS
a) It was noted that Christmas and the severe weather had maximised problems and therefore steps had been identified to progress. In general, it was noted that the service had been very good under very difficult circumstances in Meirionnydd and Dwyfor, with some confusion during the changes in Arfon. Despite observations in the press, during Christmas it was confirmed that Arfon's arrangements had been good, and that there was now an opportunity to learn lessons and to move on.