Agenda item

Cabinet Member Presentation - TDC Policy regarding Broken Bins and Green Bins Renewal Policy for Households


Councillor Albon, Cabinet Member for Cleansing and Coastal Services gave a presentation to the Panel and made the following key points:


·  The Waste Collection Team currently collects from over 70,000 properties throughout the district;

·  There were 57,000 properties that were classed as curbside collections;

·  The Council had two delivery teams that consisted of a single driver;

·  Over the course of a fortnightly collection cycle our crews collect over 250,000 of these containers;

·  In 2022/23 the Council had received 6,639 reports of damaged wheeled bins;

·  Replacement bins were delivered Mondays to Fridays and 35 to 45 bins were delivered each day;

·  The lead time for replacement was four to 5 weeks;

·  Over the last two years the Council had spent £406,750 on bin replacement;

·  The option of removing and replacing bin lids was time consuming;

·  Members were asked to note that bins changed shape over time due to weather conditions and wear and tear;

·  Bins also changed shapes due to manufacturer changing the styles. That would mean new parts would not fit on old style bins;

·  Broken bins were recycled to make more bins because not all damaged bins could be repaired;

·  The body and lip of the bins were not repairable. Only the wheels and the lid could be replaced;

·  Bin replacement resulted in overspend on the budget.


Green Bins Presentation


·  The service was run as a fortnightly collection service;

·  Two vehicles were used for each collection cycle and that was increased to three vehicles in summer;

·  The service cost £67.50 in 2022/24 and this would be £71.50 in 2024/25;

·  Currently there were 12,374 customers;

·  Last year there were 136,114 collections and there were 1,077 missed green bin collections;

·  Between September 2022 and August 2023, 4,241 tonnes were collected.


Members asked questions and made comments as follows:


·  The Council seemed to be in favour of not repairing bins. If a resident reported that a bin was damaged during collection, would they get a replacement free of charge?

·  Was £19.95 the cost that the Council paid per bin?

·  How many bins were recycled per year?

·  Were there any bins currently at the Margate depot?

·  There was an environmental cost to the collection of bins;

·  Would it be possible for the Council to come up with an arrangement where residents could collect parts from the Council and repair bins on their own?

·  The Council could start with a pilot scheme for residents to repair their broken bins. This would include the Council setting up a safe place to collect spare parts;

·  In 2022/23 the Council spent £186k on bin replacement. Why is this expenditure up by 20% to the previous year’s expenditure?

·  How often were purchases made?

·  There was a broken bins pandemic across the country. Did the Council check how other Councils were managing this issue?

·  Did other councils have similar problems?

·  Should the Council spend more on purchasing better quality bins that lasted longer?

·  Had the Council worked out the cost of repairing bins to replacing them?

·  How many broken bins had been charged to residents?

·  The overspend was worrying. When did the Council introduce black bins?

·  Should the Council be thinking about purchasing new type of containers?

·  How was the Council managing the extra cost of bins?

·  What was the ratio of broken bins between the small bins and the large ones?

·  If the ratio was small why would the Council not opt to have all large bins instead of the present mix of large and small bins?


Green Waste Bins Presentation


·  A whole street lost the green bins collection service when the service was withdrawn. Could this service be brought back to the street?

·  Could the Council consider this service as a growth area where income could be generated?

·  Could the Council consider distributing some of the green waste for some use for residents’ gardens?

·  The Council generated about £800k per year, what was that money used for?

·  What did the Council do with the collected green waste?

·  There was a team within the Council that was responsible for open spaces (gardening). Why could the green waste not be deposited at a designated compost site for use sale?

·  Why was the Council unable to purchase a truck that would be able to manoeuvre all streets in the district?

·  Did the Council make a surplus?


Mike Humber, Director of Environment, Matt Elmer, Head of Cleansing Services and Councillor Albon responded to Member questions and comments as follows:


·  The Council paid £19.95 as the cost of purchasing each bin;

·  Currently the Council did not charge residents for a bin replacement. If residents were to be charged it would be more than the £19.95 as transport charges would have to be added;

·  Bins for recycling were only keep them if there was a full load to transport;

·  The Council would not be able to set up a spare parts facility at the depot due to health and safety reasons;

·  Replacement bins cost £45 for small and £57 for the large ones and this included transport costs;

·  The expenditure was not linear as there were times when the Council would buy a large number of bins than at other times;

·  The overspend was always managed through the budget monitoring and virementing to cover areas of over expenditure;

·  The life span of a bin was eight to ten years and during that period the bashing they get during collection required that they get replaced;

·  The bins came from a manufacturing industry leader and these bins were of a good quality;

·  By spending on replacement the Council maintained a good record of health and safety measures;

·  If more money was allocated to the service area, then the service would be able to employ more staff to deploy to the bin repairs section. Currently it was not possible to recruit more staff for that purpose;

·  The Council had not changed residents for a bin replacement as yet;

·  Government was looking at standardizing bins through the new Environmental Act. However, this had been pushed back for now;

·  The current collection methods were introduced in 2012 and the Council would continue to invest in bin replacement;

·  New housing development was charged on an ad hoc basis and to date £30k had been received and would be used back in waste and recycling;

·  Seagull proof bins were mostly used in Ramsgate where there were multiple occupancies;

·  There were not that many replacements for seagull proof bins;

·  The Council now encouraged more recycling and not waste. As a result, the Council would therefore not increase the size of black bins;


Green Waste Bin Presentation


·  The Council would soon be purchasing green waste collection vehicle;

·  The vehicle would be smaller and should be able to navigate smaller spaces;

·  Without additional resources the Council would not be able to expand this service;

·  All of the income generated by the service would be spent on the service;

·  Garden waste was would be collected by a waste company who would then compost it for their commercial use;

·  For the Council to set up a compost site, would require a business case to get the funding for such a project;

·  Any surplus generated would go back into the service.


The Panel thanked Councillor Albon for his presentation.