34.1 Councillor P Smart, the Portfolio Holder for Environment & Transport presented an annual update and Ian Kerrison, Operations Manager, Waste and Fleet was also in attendance. Councillor P Smart stated that more up-to-date information was available and he stressed that some indicators did not lend themselves to direct comparison, being either by %, by weight or subject to seasonal differences, so yearly comparisons gave a more exact comparison.
34.2 Councillor Pope expressed concern that the actual figures for LI 276 - % of household waste sent for composting (brown bin) and NI 191 – Residual household waste per household (kg) were both below target. Councillor P Smart said that these were subject to a national trend and were certainly typical Suffolk wide.
34.3 In respect of LI 276, lower levels of recycling could be due to the change in how residents’ accessed newspapers and contamination also played a part, as if glass was put in a recycling bin, the bin became contaminated and would be rejected. The ‘Love Your Street’ campaign had been launched by IBC in the summer in response to growing concern about the amount of litter around the town. Volunteers had taken part in litter picks, encouraged residents to use the litter bins and to take pride in their local area. As members of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, work continued to set the targets. Guidance leaflets were available about which plastics to put in which bin and re-education was key.
34.4 Councillor P Smart referred to LI 178 – Waste collection: Number of Missed Bins per 100,000 collections, this target had improved further and was now 28%. Councillor Parry asked whether a separate glass collection was possible but it would add £1.1m on the waste budget and although this would offset the tonnage taken to the waste plant any saving would not be recorded independently of the other districts using the waste recycling plant. A Government paper was being produced about separating food waste collection to elevate targets but this would require expensive specialist machinery, be expensive to achieve and therefore, not cost effective.
34.5 In response to a question about the contamination of blue bins Mr Kerrison said that when a blue bin was taken to the recycling plant part of the waste truck load would be sampled for contamination which could result in the lorry load being rejected. It was reported that the contents of the brown bin (waste sent for composting) remained above target against others in Suffolk despite there being a slow wet start to the year and a slow start to the growing season. Brown bin performance remained high against the other authorities in Suffolk who all provided a brown bin, but at a charge to residents.
34.6 Councillor Parry asked whether there was a role for IBC in education that could be readily dealt with and Mr Kerrison said that refuse crews, handling waste bins on a daily basis, did give advice. Councillor Harsant made reference to the difficulty of contamination in communal bin areas and Mr Kerrison said that pictorial leaflets detailing recycling advice were available to promote a positive message and residents could be contacted through landlords. Concerns about plastics in water courses had been reported to the Portfolio Holder since television documentaries had documented the problems but it had been highlighted that if disposed of carefully, there would be no damage to the marine environment.
34.7 In respect of LI 089 - % of available allotment plots, there were waiting lists in some areas and none in others and an updated figure had currently been confirmed at 90% occupancy and the income derived from the current occupancy appeared to be consistent. The invoicing process had not yet been completed for this year and the Portfolio Holder agreed to circulate more detailed information on the different locations.
34.8 Councillor Leeder asked where indicators were ‘red’ that trend data for performance against targets would be helpful to identify reds that were one-offs or recurrent issues which required further investigation. The Chair thanked the Portfolio Holder and the Officer for their attendance.