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Redesigning waste and recycling collections and investing in cleaner streets - an open letter by Cllr Guney Dogan

Published on:

14 February 2019

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Enfield Council’s Cabinet has recently taken the decision to adopt new arrangements for waste and recycling collections in the borough. The Council undertook a 10-week consultation in which we made it clear that the overriding motivation for any change was saving money due to Government funding cuts, including the Government’s decision to end a grant to retain weekly collections.

Dear Resident


Redesigning waste and recycling collections and investing in cleaner streets


Enfield Council’s Cabinet has recently taken the decision to adopt new arrangements for waste and recycling collections in the borough. The Council undertook a 10-week consultation in which we made it clear that the overriding motivation for any change was saving money due to Government funding cuts, including the Government’s decision to end a grant to retain weekly collections.


Under the new arrangement the Council will invest more money into street cleansing as we are unwilling to compromise on street scene in the borough. The measures will only apply to kerbside properties with a wheeled bin.


The new arrangements will mean the Council will:
• Collect household rubbish every fortnight rather than weekly, alternating with dry recycling from Spring 2020
• Collect dry recycling every fortnight rather than weekly, alternating with household rubbish from Spring 2020
• Provide a new free service of weekly separate food waste collections from November 2019
• Introduce a £65 per year, per bin, opt-in charge for the collection of garden waste. Those who choose not to pay will not receive this service from November 2019.


The new arrangements do not include communal collections from flats. The measures also do not apply to hard to reach properties, such as flats above shops. Properties using a bagged collection service are also unaffected.


Responding to Government funding cuts to Councils

Since 2010, Enfield Council has had to save £178 million because of Government spending cuts and increased pressures on services. Fifty percent of core funding from the Government has been cut.


This means that on average every household in Enfield is worse off by £800 of funding per year as a result of government cuts.


On top of this, government cuts mean that Enfield Council needs to find a further £18 million savings in 2019/20 and £12 million in 2020/21. To give you an idea of the scale of this challenge £18 million is more than our current combined net spend on Housing Services, Leisure, Culture, Libraries, Parks and Open Spaces.


This means that like every other local authority, Enfield Council is having to make some difficult decisions about how we deliver many of our services. We are committed to making the right choices so we can ensure the money we have is targeted to achieve better outcomes, whilst always ensuring we protect our most vulnerable residents.


In the case of the Waste and Recycling Collections service the challenge is even greater due to the increase in service, disposal and treatment costs. At the same time the Government has cut a grant to retain weekly collections. This means maintaining the current service so that it is compliant with the Mayor for London’s Environment Strategy would cost the Council an additional £1.5 million per year.

The scale of this financial challenge means that the primary consideration when assessing the proposals for the future of the waste and recycling collection service has had to be the savings that can be achieved – as we have made clear throughout the consultation.


If these savings are not made to waste and recycling collections they would have to be made elsewhere from other services, or additional income raised.


Increasing recycling for a more sustainable borough

The new waste collection service will collect household rubbish and dry
recycling every fortnight on alternating weeks. In addition, the Council is introducing a new, free, weekly separate food collection service which also adds to our recycling performance. Residents will be given the option to pay for a garden waste collection.

We know that most Enfield residents think that recycling is important. Currently our recycling rate is 35.9%. We need a step change in the way we do things to increase this to 50% to meet the Mayor of London’s recycling target.

Analysis of other London boroughs who have changed from a weekly to a fortnightly collection, with a separate weekly food waste collection service, shows this change in service provision can increase recycling rates by 10%.

Investing in cleaner streets


We acknowledge that making service changes driven by the necessity to save
money can be unsettling for some. However, by redesigning our waste collection service we are creating the opportunity to invest in street cleansing, which we know is a major concern for
residents.


We will also put more resources into tackling fly tipping hotspots as all residents deserve clean streets. That is why we are investing an additional £500k annually into street cleansing and will operate a policy of collecting as much recycling as any household presents.


While this Council will always make the changes necessary to enable us to continue to deliver quality services despite shrinking funds - we also remain hugely ambitious for the borough and recognise that the Council’s Environment Department has a central role in creating a borough that is a great place for people to live and work.


Note, the decision is subject to call-in.

Yours faithfully

Cllr Guney Dogan

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment