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News from NKDC - 05-03-2018

My bin was missed during the bad weather – when will it be collected?

Arrangements are now in place to catch up on those collections missed on Wednesday February 28, Thursday March 1 and Friday March 2, because of the snow.

If you were affected by the service suspension on those three days, on your next collection day – March 7, 8 or 9 – please present your black residual waste bin again, alongside your green-lidded recycling bin and both will be collected together.

Please present them by 7.30am on your usual collection day.

For those customers whose bins are collected on Mondays and Tuesdays, as your collections were not affected, arrangements for you will remain as normal on March 5 and 6.

Following on, we will then be back to normal.

Why is the council collecting the residual & recycling together?

On this occasion, we will be taking the unusual step of emptying both into the same freighter, mixing the residual and recycling waste together, and taking it all for incineration at the Energy from Waste facility. Here it will all be put to good use in creating electricity.

This is not a course of action we have taken lightly, given our emphasis on promoting high quality recycling within North Kesteven, but felt it was prudent in the circumstances in order to resume normal service routines as quickly as possible. Other options would have led to protracted and complicated arrangements before being able to get back on track.

What about all the extra waste that has built up along side my full bins?

Side waste will be taken on this occasion. Please bag in and present it neatly alongside your bins on collection day.

We very much appreciate the efforts made in separating recyclable materials and avoiding contamination, but on this occasion, hope you will understand the need to mix it with residual waste for quick and efficient disposal.

Our guidance on what to prioritise in your recycling and how to recycle well remains the same. Please see www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/AZrecycling.

If the council can collect residual & recycling together this time – why can’t it always be done that way?

The system we have in place of alternate weekly collections – residual one week and recycling the next – is by far the most efficient and cost-effective one for the District.

It is more costly to collect everything together and does not achieve the required level of recycling. Recycling of those materials that are best able to be recycled – especially our super six mix of glass bottles and jars, tin cans, paper, cardboard, plastic containers – is a good thing for us all to do, is a responsible use of resources and helps to offset the overall cost of the service which ultimately helps to keep Council Tax low.

Recycling accounts for around 50% of the total waste we generate and it is processed separately to ensure best use can be made of those materials.

The Energy from Waste Plant does not have the capacity to take this all the time.

This is a one-off measure to help us over the extreme circumstances caused by the snow.

What other options did the council consider when deciding how to catch up with waste collections?

We looked into these alternatives, but discounted them as they did not achieve the desired aim – getting services back to normal quickly – as swiftly as we felt residents would appreciate.

Across the three days of suspended service there are around 30,000 bins left outstanding across a vast swathe of the District.

                    To chip away at collecting those bins which were missed over the three days whilst continuing with normal collections. Because out fleet isn’t large enough to readily accommodate the additional burden this creates, it would have taken up to three weeks to achieve before getting back to normal.

                    To suspend garden waste collections and chip away as above. Whilst this option would have enabled a slightly quicker recovery of all the outstanding black bins the time difference would not have been significant and green waste service subscribers would have been disadvantaged.

                    Not to operate a catch up arrangement and wait for the next time your black bin is presented in a fortnight’s time. This option would have led to greater accumulations of waste and we did not feel that was acceptable in the circumstances where we can take more prompt and efficient action.

Why were collections suspended when they were?

While we were able to continue with our usual service on Monday and Tuesday (February 26 and 27), albeit taking extra care because of the initial snowfall in those areas where we were on those days, the situation worsened midweek.

On Wednesday after more significant snow fall in the north of the District, affecting the hills especially, we felt we were unable to safely operate the service. Subsequent cancellations were authorised in consideration of the lying snow, the difficulties that caused and multi-agency advice to restrict the number of vehicles on the road where at all possible.

The decision to cancel is not taken lightly, but it was right to do so in the circumstances.

Garden waste customers

For those garden waste customers whose brown bins were not collected last week, please re-present these on Monday morning and we will chip away at collecting these as soon as we are able – using different vehicles and not necessarily on the days you expect. If we have missed you because your bin was out, put it out on your next regular collection day.

Please note that where the contents have frozen within the bin, complete emptying may not always be possible when tipped into the freighter and some materials may remain.

Kindest regards

David Steels

Head of Environment and Public Protection

North Kesteven District Council

Website: www.n-kesteven.gov.uk