Garth Harkness

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Saddleworth North Ward on Oldham Council Learn more

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Reintroduction of Recycling Collections

by Garth Harkness on 22 April, 2020


On Monday 30th March temporary general waste weekly collections were introduced by the Council’s Waste Management with a recognition that as resilience allowed there would be a need to return to separated collections for environmental and financial reasons. 

This step was taken following the outbreak of the coronavirus, as a measure to ensure that weekly waste collections would continue and provide resilience over the ensuing period. 

However, Waste Management is now able to resume recycling collections.

The plan is that this will be staged over time and subject to regular review.  

The first phase will be returning to a three-weekly collection of blue/brown/grey bins with a limited collection of food and garden waste which will be every three weeks instead of weekly.  

It is envisaged that the initial phase can be implemented week beginning 27th April 2020.  

It is seen as essential that recycling collections are reintroduced as soon as is feasible for several reasons.

These include: 

  • Residents will return to the normal waste collection system for which they already have collection calendars in place and since its introduction in 2015, has proved successful.  
  • There are significant environmental benefits from improved recycling as a method of waste disposal. 
  • Reintroducing recycling services will provide significant cost saving as materials diverted from the general rubbish waste stream reduces levy disposal costs as allocated though the GMCA Inter Authority Agreement.
  • Reintroducing recycling collections means full compliance with Section 45A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in which the Council must make the arrangements for the collection of at least two types of recyclable waste together, or individually, separated from the rest of the household waste.  

It is intended that waste collections will pick up where they left off in terms of calendar weeks and therefore, residents will present whichever bin is stated on their calendar for the next collection. 

However, in order to communicate this effectively with residents, a leaflet to all households will be issued detailing the return to regular recycling collections. 

Residents will also be able to gain calendar information online via the Council website.  

The only difference residents will notice during the implementation of the first stage is that we will be collecting food/garden waste every three weeks, rather than weekly.

Operating in this way will allow residents the ability to recycle all their waste materials and provide a regular food and garden collection throughout the summer months, where some neighbouring authorities have been forced to cancel all green waste collections or make one-off arrangements.

Residents will be advised to place their green bins or food caddies out with their brown bins for the foreseeable future.

On the weeks when the green waste is not due to be collected, residents will be advised to place food waste in the grey bin with the general refuse.

A three-weekly collection of food and garden waste will also provide the Waste Management Service protection and resilience in its ability to maintain the operation over a longer term whilst under the current restraints. This way of working which supports the proposed arrangement will also allow Waste Management to maintain safe working procedures observing social distancing guidance as the crews will continue to work to two, rather than three in a vehicle cabin.  

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