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Agenda item

Dual Stream (Recycling Service) Quarterly Update

(To receive a quarterly update on the dual stream recycling service)


Report of the General Manager to provide the Committee with an update on the dual stream recycling collections which were introduced in both Tamworth and Lichfield in May 2022.


The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder, Councillor T Jay, Operations Manager, Joint Waste Service, Steve Gee and Customer Relations and Performance Manager, Joint Waste Service, Victoria Woodhouse.


The Operations Manager introduced the report. It was noted that complaints which had previously increased had fallen dramatically and are back at what would be considered a normal level.


The Committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:


1.    Whether the drop in the recycling rate could be due to a change in buying habits? It was reported that there was not any specific data around this but buying habits had changed as had suppliers; packaging is being reduced because of the EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) agenda, where producers will be asked to pay towards costs of recycling packaging they produce in the future. Total tonnage as dropped. 


2.    Whether there were any specific categories around Missed Collections?  It was reported that there was no data, but it appeared to largely come down to human error. It was highlighted that the Council has a collection rate of 99.99% made on time.


3.    Sustainability of the Blue bags? It was reported that a new blue bag had been sourced which is a tube design which should be more sustainable moving forward. It was confirmed that there is no roll out being carried out, but that the service hold approximately 7000 bags which will be available when bags need replacing, and also that residents are able to request an additional blue bag. It was reported that crews are not able to carry spare bags and they must be requested, but where a bag is lost on route this is reported by the crew and a new bag is automatically ordered.


4.    How was contamination managed in flat/multi occupancy accommodation and what work is being done with residents? It was reported that recycling produced was not the same quality from flats/multi-occupancy accommodation as single household residencies. Where there is contamination, it was the landlords responsibility to rectify this. Residents buy in, is considered key. It was stated that every resident would be getting a personally addressed letter. The Service has two recycling officers in the districts who were able to do resident meetings and had been engaging with landlords.


5.    It was acknowledged that the increase in the assisted service was a positive and that this should continue to be communicated as an option.  The Committee asked that officers made residents aware that this service is available.



6.    Clarification was sought regarding the ‘round’ review following the new housing developments in the borough.  Officers were asked  what impact was expected on collection times and costs? It was reported that there is finance in the Joint Waste Board reserves to fund additional collections from growth. It was explained that this is a stepped process as new trucks can’t be funded until there is sufficient need, therefore this would have an impact on costs. It was asked that when the next review is completed that a report be bought back to Committee.


7.    A discussion was held around upcoming projects including a Citizens app and a Campaign which Lichfield District Council were also reviewing. The Portfolio Holder confirmed that these would only  be considered if they met the needs of Tamworth.



That the Committee:


Noted the update on the performance of the Dual Stream Recycling Service.



(Moved by Councillor B Price and seconded by Councillor L Wood)


The Committee thanks the officers for their report and the Operations Manager and Customer Relations Performance Manager left the meeting.

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