As a North West Community Committee Environmental Champion I recently received a briefing note detailing what policies the Council had put in place since 2014 to deal with waste. Back in January 2014 it was agreed that one bin would be provided for each of the three waste streams, grey, green and brown, per household other than in exceptional circumstances such as families with 5 or more permanent residents or householders with medical problems but where they do not qualify for clinical waste collections
Where householders are on the Alternate Weekly collection (fortnightly green and grey) no side waste would be permitted except dry recyclables in transparent bin liners but even this is discouraged. It is allowed for the first collection after Christmas or following a period of service disruption. If bins are contaminated or are excessively heavy the bin will be tagged with a reason why not emptied and householder asked to remove the contamination prior to the next collection.
In November 2015 a range of general communications and marketing activities was agreed to maximise the recycling capacity across the city. If all residents used their green bins at the level of the highest use in the city then an increase of 7% recycling could be achieved.
In July 2016 the Council acknowledged the need to approve the way they communicate with and support local residents to ensure they address specific issues within a defined area and personalise the support which could involve a visit from a Council officer to help residents to understand any barriers to recycling and how these could be overcome. There was also agreement to use enforcement powers for persistent and unreasonable waste recycling behaviours which can lead to contamination of materials by those residents who are excellent recyclers. There would be a 5 step approach put in place to target those residents who have difficulties, starting with general communication then targeted education, initial enforcement action such as a Notice or warning letter, followed by the completion of enforcement action through a Community Protection Notice and finally a sanction which could be a fixed penalty charge of up to £100 where non payment could lead to court action.