Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Rushmoor's Waste Management Panel's recommendations

On 3rd June I was very much a lone voice in wanting to amend some recommendations that a small working group of Councillors wanted the Environment Panel to endorse before it went to the Cabinet for a decision on implementation.

Every councillor, Labour, Lib-Dem and Conservative supported this except me. Please tell me if you think my amendments (shown in red) were unreasonable or out of touch with residents.


I. Replace (where appropriate) existing 240L residual wheeled bins with 140L bins, collected at the existing weekly collection frequency by 2010. Subject to funding and affordability

II. Continue the current chargeable garden waste collection service, but pursue the option to improve the choice of container

III. Introduce targeted enforcement (I wanted to delete the word enforcement and replace it with education) for recycling, within the current limited resources. A full time post should be introduced if funding becomes available

IV. Continue to participate in the education and information campaign – Recycle for Hampshire - funded through Project Integra

Panel is also recommended to welcome the Cabinet decision to introduce a fortnightly borough wide kerbside glass collection service as part of the contract extension.

My Reasons:

1. On the first recommendation I wanted these words inserted to make clear that where it is not appropriate we will not replace the bins with a smaller one. ie large families or large households.

2. On the third recommendation I felt we were beginning to criminalise people that do not recycle as efficiently as they could. This in my mind is wrong. We are obsessed with recycling sometimes at the expense of other more important habits like reducing and re-using what we consume. Rather than enforcement, I think these life style habits should be encouraged through education and positive incentives, not by fines and criminalisation of our citizens.

The second and fourth recommendation I supported fully.

If you think I have it completely wrong - leave a message for all to see here - and please state your reasons.

If you think the panel got it wrong - tell them - their emails are below:

Councillor Sue Dibble (Labour)
Councillor Roland Dibbs (Conservative)
Councillor Charlie Fraser-Fleming (Liberal Democrat)
Councillor John Marsh (Conservative) johnhmarsh@ntlworld.com


Anonymous said...

We moved to Aldershot 2 weeks ago after living overseas for the last 2 and a half years due to my husband serving with the Armed Forces and I would like to compare their recycling systems to the one here.

In Belgium we were given see through yellow bags for all recycable plastics (including yoghurt pots, ice-cream tubs, margarine tubs), tins/foil and fruit juice cartons which were collected fortnightly. Paper (including shredded)/cardboard was collected fortnightly and then black bags for general household waste. Also, twice a year they had a system where you could put out "bulk rubbish" such as mattresses, refrigerators, washing machines, broken toys anything that you no longer required. These items were put at the front of your property and usually what happened was that the locals would go around the areas being collected and if they saw something of use they would take if before the bin men came, "one mans junk is another mans treasure".

In Germany their system was brilliant. We were given 3 wheelie bins. A small green one for grass cuttings, twigs and leaves and all left over foods which was collected fortnightly. A large blue one for all paper (including shredded) and all cardboard which was collected fortnightly then a small black one for general house hold waste that could not be recycled which was collected monthly. Also, we were given yellow see through bags for all plastics (including cling film, yoghurt pots, ice-cream tubs, margarine tubs), tins/foil and fruit juice cartons even sweet wrappers which were collected fortnightly. Basically anything that had the recycle mark on it was recycled.

We, as a family of five, have gone from using one black bag of household waste a month to using one a week because the system here doesn't allow for all recycable plastics, shredded paper and some cardboard.

Maybe I'm not using the system here correctly as I'm still waiting for an information pack and bin dates which I requested from the Council Offices via phone over a week ago.

For me if it has the recycle mark on it then we should have the facilities in place to recycle them.

It seems to me that Britain is still in the eighties as regards their recycling system where as Europe is pushing on ahead.

Many thanks for reading my comments and I hope they may be of some use.

Anonymous said...

I read your article in last weeks Star and could not agree with you more, these councilors have been elected to fight for us not against.We do not need an enforcement officer or smaller wheelie bins(at a cost of £750,000)
Who would pay for this , us of course, what would happen to all the bins that are going to be replaced?.bet that would increse cardon footprint somwe what
We do need a better recycle system for the hard plastics that we have to throw away. Please keep up this campain.Best Regards
S Pink

Anonymous said...

Dear Councillor Clifford

I note from the article in the Star for 12 June, 2008 that you are asking for comments on the latest proposals regarding rubbish collection in Rushmoor.

I'm afraid that I find the latest proposals from Rushmoor's environment policy and review panel, if correctly reported by the Star, to be verging on the absurd.

If councillor Dribble really believes that expenditure of £750,000 replacing the existing bins with smaller bins truely represents: "the best proposals. I feel these solutions are the best way forward" then I am seriously concerned. To spend this amount of money at this time represents to me an auditable misuse of council funds, especially when we are looking at constraints and restrictions in other areas of council expenditure in order to remain within the available grant. What other, more important spending proposals will have to be sacrificed in order to undertake this expenditure?

Equally enforcement as described in the article can only be achieved by what has popularly been referred to as; "bin snooping", something that seems rather incongrous at a time when a respected Conservative MP is standing for re-election on a civil liberties platform. It is also clear that enforcement of bin regulations has not been a success where penalties are challenged in magistrates courts. The onus lies on the council to prove that the bin "owner" was responsible for the infringement and this is almost impossible. To attempt to justify a full time post for this activity seems excessive

I remain totally in favour of encouragement and incentives to recycle - extending the current glass collection would be of immediate beneficial benefit and more education, especially in schools will also have a direct effect - parents respond much better to their children than a council officer! A more useful form of garden waste collection would also help - the present containers are too small and fragile. Other councils use a separate bin for this purpose with good results.

Extending the range of items recycled would also help - I am frequently putting items marked as recyclable into my normal waste because the council does not recycle them and I believe that this confusion contributes measurably to recycling contamination.

All in all my view is; " please think again". I fully understand and support the objectives but the measures proposed lack both imagination, are imposssible to enforce, cost far too much and will simply further alienate already hard pressed occupants.

Anonymous said...

I read the piece in the Star about Bin Fines. As it happens I’ve been

having somewhat similar discussions here in Surrey Heath. I thought

you might appreciate hearing what I’ve said to Alan Whittart the new

Surrey Heath Mayor on the subject of Recycling in Camberley as

undoubtedly similar issues are or will arise.

I feel strongly that a National Recycling Standard should be developed

by the Government rather than each Borough going off and doing it’s

own thing as is happening all over the place at present.

Plastics represent a particular problem as there are around 50 different

types of plastic used in product packaging some of which can be

recycled whereas others can’t.

It seems to me that the onus should really fall on the Supermarkets to

only sell products packed in 100% recyclable packaging and that

should be a National Standard.

Enforcement is undoubtedly going to be a particular problem in some

areas. Improved public relations and more targeted education will

certainly help such as the www.recyclenow.com website to get

us up to the level achieved by Holland and Germany.

Anonymous said...

half-size wheelie bins

This is an appalling waste of public money, an environmental disaster and raises serious concerns regarding environmental health.

Wheelie bins are an oil-based product. There is currently a shortage of wheelie bins across Europe, the price of oil has doubled. If the price for the bins had not been previously agreed, then it will now have risen considerably. If the price had previously been agreed, then the decision by councillors was a farce, a rubber stamping exercise.

- Eastern European recycling leads to British wheelie bin shortage
- European trend to recycling leads to mass shortage of wheelie bins in UK

Did I blink and miss the consultation? No consultation then the scheme is unlawful, grounds for councillors to be surcharged. Councillors who voted for this are sticking two fingers up to the public and are not fit to hold public office.

- The duty of local councils to consult

Last year we saw the unmitigated disaster of fortnightly waste collection – fly-tipping, overflowing bins, rats, maggots. Does no one learn from past mistakes? Or are we seeing the usual arrogant contempt for the public which seems to be the norm for Rushmoor councillors?

A couple of years ago there was a workshop with the public. Many good ideas were put forward. Taking the public for a ride was not one of them.

The councillors who put their name to this idiocy should be surcharged for wasting public money.

We pay enough in council tax and get very little in return. At the very minimum we expect our rubbish to be collected. It is also a legal obligation, a service the council is required by law to deliver.

Let's halve the money we pay to the idiots who dreamt up this scheme. Maybe then we will have the money to pay for a half decent waste handling plant, this we were promised in Aldershot over a decade ago.

What had hitherto been law abiding citizens are going to receive a criminal record for a minor misdemeanor thanks to the Rushmoor bin police. This will effect future job prospects, and could lead to being sacked on the spot or kicked off a university course. Many employers are unlawfully obtaining information on the criminal convictions of employees and potential employees. [Face the Facts, BBC Radio 4, 8 August 2008]

You try your best David, but what is wrong with your fellow councillors, does nothing lie between their ears? We need more councillors like yourself. When he was a councillor, Peter Sandy did a very good job, which no doubt explains why he was driven off the council.

Yourself and Peter Sandy acted last year to stop fortnightly waste collection, please do the same to stop this nonsense.

Would respectfully suggest the following amendments:

i supply half-size wheelie bin only where requested.

ii encourage home composting in back gardens - provide free or heavily subsidised compost bins.

iii educate those who have difficulty recycling - mobile information at shows, markets etc (cf Guildford which has a stall at every farmers market).

What education by Hampshire and Integra? Or is this an aspiration, looks good on paper but in reality is nonexistent?

In Guildford, the waste collection service in Rushmoor is regarded as a joke. Guildford rely on education and persuasion, not a big stick which apart from criminalising people only serves to put people's backs up. Does this explain why their recycling figures are way ahead of the pathetic figures achieved by Rushmoor?

WE need the support of the public. When will Rushmoor learn to work with the local community?

We have seen the same with car parking restrictions in Aldershot, North Camp and Salisbury Road, the same arrogant contempt for the views of the local community.

- North Camp street parking
- Common Sense rules over Clockhouse Car Park

Kerbside bottle collection is a non-starter. This may work in a nice middle class area like where David lives, but does anyone seriously think this will work on the Pavilion slum estates? Who needs a knife when a broken bottle will do?

The entire recycling system has to be rethought. It has to be much simpler and easier to use, all recyclable materials have to be able to go into the same bin – plastics, paper, bottles, card, tin etc. There cannot be restrictions on the type of plastics. Make it complicated and you will get low recycling figures.

There has to be the investment by Hampshire to do the sorting and separation.

If North Kesteven (the best performing local authority in the country) can do it, then why not Rushmoor/Hampshire?

- Recycling – a tale of two councils

What is Rushmoor doing to create markets for the reclaimed materials? Without a market there is little point in recycling or waste reclamation.

We also need lifestyle changes. Punishing householders for something they have very little control over is not the way forward. Did we ask for all the packaging the supermarkets thrust upon us?

WE are an easy target. This is just an excuse to reduce services (which we pay through the nose for) and introduce yet another stealth tax, a way to get easy money out of hard working folk.

Can't you get the useless jobsworths to get off their backsides and do something useful for a change, after all it is us who pay their salaries? Should they not be working for us, not against us?

Letters in the Surrey-Hants Star (Thursday 7 August 2008) back much of what has been said here, showing once again just how out of touch with reality are Rushmoor councillors.

- Scheme wastes our money
- Small bins will bring misery
- Rubbish plans

Also see the excellent, absolute must read letter from Dean Mansfield 'Intelligence of rats insulted, let alone people' in the Farnborough News (Friday 8 August 2008).

Half-size wheelie bins has about as much support as did fortnightly waste collection.

- Rushmoor wheelie bin madness

If we get half-size wheelie bins, can we please have a half-size council and half-size local tax bills? Because all we seem to get is half-brain councillors.

Anonymous said...

ruling by Ombudsman makes Rushmoor policy impossible

The recent ruling by Ombudsman Anne Seex has made it impossible for Rushmoor to implement its wheelie bin policy.

There would appear to be more than sufficient grounds for a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman for maladministration: waste of public money, no consultation with the public, etc etc.

- Local Government Ombudsman
- LGO - How to complain

A council is under a legal obligation to consult. Failure to do so and the scheme is unlawful. The council has no authority to spend money on an unlawful scheme. Those councillors who backed this scheme, including those named and shamed who recommended this crass policy, should be surcharged for any costs incurred.

- The duty of local councils to consult

The Ombudsman has recently ruled that households are entitled to have a second wheelie bin and to have their rubbish collected (the latter is in any case a legal obligation).

I refer to the precedent set by Anne Seex, when she found that Congleton Borough Council were guilty of "maladministration with injustice" for refusing to provide a household with a second wheelie bin and refusing to collect the extra waste.

- Family wins battle for a second bin (and it only took two years!)
- Councils may hand out extra wheelie bins after landmark ruling
- Man wins right to second wheelie bin

If it is a right to have a second bin, then it equally follows that we have a right not to have our second bin taken away and replaced with a smaller bin.

There would also appear to be more than sufficient grounds for a Judicial Review!

Anonymous said...

Copy of letter sent to Rushmoor Council ...

With reference to recent announcements of changes to waste collections.

While of course I am fully aware the impact we all make on our environment and always willing to contribute by doing my bit, I refuse to sit by AGAIN, and watch a bunch of jumped-up redundant bureaucrats bowing to EU missives, deliberately trying to con me and the rest of Aldershot and Farnborough.

First, when has Rushmoor ever without a secret agenda, been pro-active about anything?

If a person’s green wheelie bin needs replacing after 20 years, then fine – replace them. But like for like, thank you.

To suggest new smaller bins are to be issued to encourage recycling is an insult to the intelligence of rats, never mind the rest of us.

If encouragement were needed then I suggest BIGGER blue recycling bins as standard for everyone or a return to weekly collections.

As it is now the green bins provide an overflow for when the blue bins become full; because of fortnightly collections, the capacity of recycled material collected has been reduced by 50 per cent – or “half” in English.

If this does not provide the solution you’re looking for then consult your notes from the waste workshops that were held. I’m aware of many good suggestions offered, but ripping off the public wasn’t one discussed.

To now suggest the same for the green non-recyclable rubbish but doing a swap, that is, halving the size but retaining weekly collections – is scandalous and is clearly to give a false impression of an improvement by Rushmoor in reducing waste collected.

It is not a solution but merely a sleight of hand con trick that pulls the wool over innocent tax payers’ eyes.

Might I suggest, if Rushmoor is serious about doing the decent thing, either give us our sick town back so it can be properly managed and some of the damage can be rectified before it becomes a landfill, or try slashing your salaries by 50 per cent and the community tax along with it.

That might then pay for a new recycling facility that was promised 15 years ago.

Dean Mansfield, Campbell Fields, Aldershot

- Bins plans are a ‘con’

Anonymous said...

Has Rushmoor carried out a waste audit?

If not, why not?

We cannot find anyone who wants this daft idea.

- half-size bins = half-brain councillors

Anonymous said...

Agree with everything that is so far said, including the various links to some very interesting comments.

Everyone we have spoken to is against this hair-brain scheme. Or should we say half-brain scheme?

Not only are people strongly against, they are very, very angry. The level of anger is at the level it was a year ago with the fortnightly waste collection.

If everyone can see that this is an appalling waste of public money, that is OUR money, then why cannot our half-brain councillors see it too?

Is it a prerequisite to becoming a councillor, that one has to be a half-wit?

If ever there was a case of maladministration, this must be it.

Everyone must lodge complaints with the Ombudsman (leaflet from library or council) and let's hope this toothless watchdog for once shows some teeth. Also let your councillors know what you think of their half-brain stupidity.

What is wrong with this council?

Unknown said...

Great Informative blog.. thanks for share with us ..
Now a days waste is very big problem for human health... So we need waste management services and environmental services for good human health and keep clean the environment.