New waste and recycling collection calendar on its way

City of York Council is encouraging residents to look out for their new waste and recycling calendar for 2015/16, which will be hitting doormats soon.

New calendar out soon

New calendar out soon

From this week households across the city will start to receive their new calendar which outlines when collections are taking place between November 2015 and October 2016, including collections over the Christmas and New Year period.

The council announced earlier this year that residents are set to benefit from two additional garden waste collections this autumn, at the end of the current collection season, as well as improved recycling collections over Christmas.

This will ensure that the maximum time residents will wait for their recycling collection is three weeks, instead of four weeks. The extra garden waste collections will give residents an opportunity to dispose of autumn green waste before winter sets in.

The new calendars also provide tips and advice on what items can and can’t be recycled including paper/cardboard, glass, plastic bottles, cans/tins and if applicable garden waste.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “We are pleased to be improving recycling collections for residents over Christmas as they have asked us to help them to recycle more of their waste. By working together we can reduce the cost to the council of Landfill Tax and to help us become the Greenest City in the North.  We encourage residents to look out for their new collection calendars which will be hitting doormats soon and to let us know if they have not been received by the end of October.”

Flats, rural properties and also city centre properties serviced by St Nicks recycling team will receive collection information in December. For any queries about the St Nicks recycling service in the city centre please go to http://www.stnicks.org.uk/ or telephone 01904 411821.

Residents are asked to ensure their bins or boxes are presented by 7am on the day of their collection, but no earlier than 7pm the evening before.

Residents can find their additional collection dates on the new calendar and also online.

Look up collections at www.york.gov.uk/refuselookup . Households which have not received their calendar by the end of October can contact the council on 01904 551551 ycc@york.gov.uk for a replacement copy.

Find out more about waste and recycling in York by following @CYCWaste on Twitter or ‘like’ CYCWaste on Facebook.

Extra green bin emptying this winter. Christmas waste collection arrangements to be announced

Plans to empty Green Bins on two additional occasions this winter will be considered on 10th August.

Green waste refusebin

An officer report outlines options to either

  • have two additional green waste collections in November or
  • one additional collection in November with one additional collection in January.

Last year the then Labour led Council was heavily criticised for ending green bin emptying at the end of October. Only a by election win for the Liberal Democrats in the Westfield ward prompted the newly balanced Council to add in an additional collection in January.

The published report fails to indicate how much green waste was collected during this January collection which was also intended to pick up discarded Christmas trees.

Nor is any weekly collection volume data is included.

The same meeting will confirm bin emptying arrangements for the Christmas period. The paper  includes plans to improve recycling collections by reducing from four weeks to three weeks the maximum time that people would need to wait between collections.

Roughly half the city missed one recycling collection during the Christmas period last year and so had to wait 4 weeks between collections.   

The Council have yet to publish details of any pre decision all party discussion meeting. In the absence of such a meeting residents will be able to make representations at the meeting on 10th and also to make written representations.

In its Emergency Budget the new Lib Dem-Conservative Executive confirmed that it would reverse plans to charge for the first green bin per house – built into the council budget by Labour in February. The Emergency Budget also included provision to return two green bin collections over the winter. These winter collections were scrapped by Labour in April 2013.

The report will be considered at a Decision Session on the 10th August by Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the Environment. Cllr Waller  commented:

“We are responding to residents and helping them to recycle more for the city. Two additional green bin collections over the winter will help people to deal with leaves and woody waste which cannot be easily home composted.

“Residents have been faced with the prospect of putting their garden waste into their grey bins or driving to their nearest Recycling Centre.

“As well as improving the regular green bin collection service, I am also working with officers to look at options to help the recycling efforts of households that do not have a green waste collection. If we are to reach our target to take recycling to over 50% we need a city-wide effort.

“In addition, we are outlining proposals to stop what we saw last Christmas. In almost half the city households were left waiting a month for their recycling to be collected. We need to offer a better basic service to residents than the one they endured under the previous Labour Council.

“The communication plan we are working on engages with residents associations, parish councils and partners to help get the messages out during the autumn.”

NB Plans to introduce charges for green bin emptying were squashed at the last full council meeting

York Council to support students and charity during end of term rubbish clear out

As part of this year’s campaign for a tidy end to the academic year, City of York Council is working with British Heart Foundation (BHF) to back its fundraising, and support students to recycle and dispose of waste responsibly.

Student Waste

In this, the third year of the campaign, the council will be making extra collections of grey bins or bags – whichever are usually collected – on Saturday 27 June in The Groves, Hull Road and Fishergate areas. Students leaving their accommodation for the summer and residents will both feel the benefit and are being urged to make the most of this opportunity.

Besides putting out their waste, local people and students will be encouraged to donate to BHF items suitable for sale, at 10 permanent clothing banks at key drop off points located across the city and university campuses.

These will be collected by the charity and sold as part of its Fight For Every Heartbeat campaign.

Information leaflets and maps of BHF collection bin locations and BHF collection bags will shortly be distributed to households in the three areas.

Last year 1,899 bags were collected through BHF’s special collection bins. Each had an average weight of 8.2 kilos, yielding a total 15.6 tonnes of donations which, using BHF’s estimate that each bag has a £20 value, £37,980 was raised for the British Heart Foundation by York residents and students.
(more…)

2,762 sign “save our bins” petition

Massive opposition to green bin charges and reduced bin emptying frequencies

Council consultation leaflet click to access

Council consultation leaflet click to access

Over 2700 residents have signed the petition objecting to green bin emptying charges and a possible reduction in grey bin emptying frequency (to every 3 or 4 weeks).

The signatures were obtained in a “door to door” campaign conducted mainly on the west of the city.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The petition can now be signed “on line” (click). Internet access to the petition was suspended during the election campaign.

The proposed changes to bin emptying arrangements were first promoted by Labour Councillors at the beginning of the year.

They authorised a – largely bogus – consultation exercise about options but failed to report the results of the opinion survey.

The bins petition will now be presented to the next ordinary Council meeting which is scheduled to take place on 16th July.

“Save our bins” petition hits 1000 signatures

Call for Council to release results of resident’s opinion poll

Labour and Green Councillors voted through a Council budget for this year which includes a big reduction in waste collection costs.

Waste collection update 12th April 2015

Only two options for cost reduction were offered to residents in a survey undertaken earlier in the year.

  • Reduced grey bin emptying frequencies &
  • £35/£37 pa charge for emptying (all) green (garden waste) bins.

We said at the time that the survey was deeply flawed.

Now the Council has now said that it won’t reveal the results of its survey until after the Council elections on May 7th.

Labour’s charging plans were leaked last autumn. Not surprisingly neither they or the Green have been candid about the plans in the election manifestos that are currently being circulated

Copies of the petition for can be downloaded from here

Bins petition – 500 sign in one week as residents face 57% increase on tipping charges

Council let slip £37 a year “tax” on Green Bins to start mid summer

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Over 500 residents have signed our petition opposing Labour plans to reduce bin emptying frequencies and impose an annual charge of £35 or £37 for emptying green, garden waste, bins.

The on line version of the edition is now suspended until after the election but copies of the petition form can be downloaded by clicking here

At a recent Council meeting in response to a question the responsible Cabinet member said,

“Officers from waste services, IT and customer services are working to determine a time frame in which chargeable Green waste collections could be implemented should the Council choose to proceed. It is anticipated that sufficient evidence will be available in the summer of 2015 for the Council to consider this matter”

 Labour Councillors fear that many residents will avoid the new charge by putting green waste into grey – residual waste – bins.

Hence the – still secret – move to reduce bin emptying frequencies to once evry 3 or 4 weeks.

Like the proposals to close Lendal Bridge 4 years ago, it is unlikely that Labour will publicise their plans for the future of waste collection in the city until after then Local Elections on May 7th.

Landfill Tax charges up by 57% in 5 years as York Council recycling effort fades

Meanwhile the Council has admitted that recycling rates have been falling in the City. Landfill Tax charges – paid by residents through their Council Tax bills – have increased.

Landfill Tax payments click to enalrge

Landfill Tax payments click to enalrge

Landfill Tax increased by £8 per tonne annually until 2014/15 and by inflation thereafter having reached £80 per tonne.

“Save our bins” petition launched

Residents have launched a petition calling on the York Council to reverse its proposal to reduce refuse bin collection frequencies and scrap the £35 green bin emptying charge.

click to download

click to download

The petition also asks the Council to abandon its plan – agreed at its budget meeting on 26th February – to introduce a £35 a year charge for emptying green bins. The charge has been heavily criticised as a new “stealth” tax – the equivalent of a 4% increase in Council Tax levels for most residents.

The Labour run authority introduced a £35 fee for emptying second, and subsequent, green bins last year.

The new tax will apply to all green bins and will hit the least well off hardest (as the charge will not be offset by increased benefit payments).

Residents fear that the charge will lead to more hedgerow dumping.

The risk will be increased by the move to 3 or 4 weekly grey bin emptying.

Dumping has already become an increasing problem on the west of the City since Labour’s controversial decision to close the civic amenity recycling centre on Beckfield Lane a couple of years ago.

Dringhouses Councillor Ann Reid is backing the petition.

“Many public service cuts are being hidden from residents by dubbing them part of a “rewiring” exercise.

This title means nothing to most people.

A consultation in February was a shambles with leaflets advertising activities being delivered after the event had finished.  A bogus list of choices failed to specifically ask for resident’s views on bin charging and reduced emptying frequencies.

Residents need to make their views known now.

A new Council will be elected on May 7th. It will have an early opportunity  to reverse the damaging decisions that have been taken over recent weeks”

The petition also asks the Council to provide more litter bins and to give a higher priority to keeping highways and hedgerows free from litter and dumped items.

A copy of the petition can be down loaded by clicking here

The petition can be signed “on line” here

Street drinking and green waste collection petitions to be considered by Council

The Council has announced the dates on which two petitions from residents will be considered.

A petition asking for action to control street drinking in The Groves area is slated for consideration on  17th March

A petition opposing the reduction on winter green bin emptying frequencies will be considered on 18th March

Meanwhile opposition to Labour’s plans to reduce grey bin emptying frequencies to 3 or 4 weekly is growing.

Many residents have also emailed us to say that they fear that the £35 a year charge that Labour have agreed for emptying any green bin, will lead to more hedgerow dumping.

 

“It’s almost as if they didn’t want us to know”

Council delivers notification leaflet after meeting has taken place

Following on from our story yesterday, the Council has started to issue a survey form to residents asking for their views on cutting public services (aka “rewiring”).

Most residents have yet to receive the leaflet which advertises a “drop in” taking pace at the Acomb Library on …err yesterday. (There are other “drop in” dates next week)

Labour rewiring proposals

No attempt was made by the Council to publicise yesterday’s event. No media release was issued. The Consultation is not listed on the Council web site and cannot be downloaded from there. (Although we have provided a link HERE to a copy on “dropbox”)

The Council has for some reason set up a separate, impenetrable, web site containing what it describes as background information http://rewiringyork.com/ . Most residents won’t, of course,  know it even exists.  There is no link shown from the Council web site.

Waste collection "survey"

Waste collection “survey”

The rewiring blog makes much of the Council’s new (under development) web site – but fails to acknowledge the leap backwards on communications that has taken place over the last 12 months (the facility to report issues like broken street lights and potholes using the internet was withdrawn by the present administration – increasing pressure on an already overburdened “contact centre”)

The content of the leaflet is risible.

It says that residents can see a copy of the “business case” for change on the blog site. No such business case is visible.

The leaflet says “the proposed changes will have an effect on the frequency, accessibility and cost of services such as waste collection and STREET CLEANSING”. It talks of changes to “roads

The leaflet fails to say how much green bin emptying will cost a resident under Labour’s plans and doesn’t’ even mention “street cleansing” or “roads” again.

 The leaflet makes the bold statement that the Council “needs” to save £2.5 million from “this service area” They mean street level public services but don’t define them or mention current standards.

The statement is in any event untrue.

The Council can make savings in other areas. Many capital investment plans (new access bridge into the station land, new Scarborough footbridge, turning the Guildhall into a media centre etc) could be shelved with annual savings on borrowing costs equivalent to the amount being cut from essential street services.

£9.32 million on Guildhall media centre

£9.32 million on Guildhall media centre

It’s not all bad. Investment in LED lights may well save energy and running costs, and MAY prove to be more reliable and durable that the exiting street lighting systems. But there is no information provided which allows residents to make an informed judgement on that claim.

Included is a very limited prioritisation list. It muddles service improvement (collecting kitchen waste) with service reductions (charging for all green bin emptying & reducing the frequency of grey bin emptying to monthly).

The costs and implications of the latter two “options” are not explained.

So what does it really mean?

Labour are seeking endorsement for their plans to:

  1. Reduce the investment in road and footpath repairs
  2. Reduce the number of sub-urban litter bins
  3. Sweep streets less frequently
  4. Reduce grey bin emptying to once a month
  5. Make an annual charge to everyone who has a green bin
  6. Get local “volunteers” to “manage” parks and open spaces.

Should I respond to the survey?

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Silence may be pronounced as contentment with the changes planned by “rewiring” supporters.

On the other hand, prioritising a very limited number of options could be used as a justification for an unpopular change to waste collection arrangements (just about the only Council service that every resident uses).

The survey can’t be answered “on line” so freepost returns will cost taxpayers over 40p each, putting more pressure on public service standards.

What we’d do

Send an Email with your views to rewiringyork@york.gov.uk.

Say that the Council should abandon other, less essential, projects to make savings.

Say that core street level public service standards should be sustained.

Tell the Council to make future consultations timely, fairer giving full information on costs, provide a wider range of options and offer an “on line” response option.