The Waste Strategic Client Manager introduced the paper to Members which focussed on the following areas:
The following points were then discussed:
A Member said they had concerns about recycling rates slipping back and asked for more clarity about the reasons for this. Officers said they shared the same concerns and it was likely to related to residents spending more time at home and consuming more at home as there had also been an increase in residual waste. They were currently analysing the data to understand what had caused behavioural changes to find out why this was the case as there were still some unanswered questions. It was said that Bristol did still have higher levels of recycling than most other core cities. Members agreed that more analysis was needed so that fuller explanations could be provided.
The Chair thanked the Waste Strategic Client Manager for the presentation and said it was very helpful. He then asked about recycling in flats and the results of a trial that had taken place on Chandos Road. He also asked if having different services across city and therefore not one consistent message. Did that make communication more difficult? The officer said they were looking to provide equity of service across the City. The method of collection may be slightly different but the message was still the same. With regards to the trial on Chandos Road they had removed the bins from the street but residents had left bags and boxes out instead. He said communication did now need to be more targeted yes but there was also a need for people to take greater ownership of their waste as well.
It was asked if ‘mingled’ recycling might mean less quality and cause problems? The officer said it was a potential solution but yes it could have unforeseen circumstances
A Member asked about the enforcement approach of the New Commercial Waste Standard and how that might encourage businesses to reduce current types of waste such as polystyrene boxes that are often still used by some outlets. Officers said businesses would be allowed 3 months to engage but now they have to take more responsibility for their waste and do things differently in future. Officers said they were also looking into a potential use and reuse charter for local businesses which could be part of the Going for Gold - Sustainable Food City status. This new standard could help to prompt an improvement in standards.
The Chair encouraged officers work with Ward Councillors on these changes. It was said that some areas of the City were very different from each other and Councillors could help by providing information their local areas.
The increase in levels of fly-tipping in some areas of the City was raised as problem. Members asked what could be done to improve the situation. Officers said they were working with Neighbourhood Enforcement officers and the Bristol Waste Company to identify ‘hot spots’ and improving how information was captured to enable action to be taken and to help dissuade fly-tippers.
The Chair asked about the Old City and said he understood there were some concerns from traders about how the new system works. Officers said there were 2 windows of opportunity i.e. am and pm and they would capture and analyse the data about who was using which window. It was added that some companies also offered a concierge service so that they have key and can go in and get bins if needed.
A Members said in previous years private operators had not wanted to provide intel to local authorities and he asked if the situation was still the same now? Officers said yes this was still a national problem. Operators were not forthcoming with information or data because it was seen as ‘commercially sensitive’. The Council was however said to be working well with Bristol Waste Company and had made requests for tonnage data. The Council also wanted to engage with more local operators where possible in future.
A Member asked about the two slots and whether there any planned flexibility on these times? Officers said the new system would be reviewed after a period of time. There are solutions that meant businesses didn’t need to be there or be open.
It was asked if officers thought the noise at 5am would be problem? They said they hadn’t received any complaints.
The Waste Strategic Client Manager said that in the near future the new system would be expanded into the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and they would then certainly be looking to engage with Ward Councillors as part of that process.
Members thanked the Waste Strategic Client Manager for the information and his time.