Agenda item

Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing Performance


The Committee received a written report which provided an update on the Council’s Waste Recycling and Street Cleansing Performance. The report was included in the agenda pack at pages 11-30 and was introduced by Beth Waltzer, Interim Head of Waste. The following arose during the discussion of the report:

a.    The Committee sought assurances around whether officers were satisfied with the current standard of street cleansing. In response, officers advised that the council regularly monitored standards through the NI195 Performance measure and that Veolia were meeting their contracted targets. In relation to an anecdotal account of a street sweeper having to stop cleaning a particular location to cover shortages in other areas, officers advised that this would be an unusual occurrence and that street sweeping offer was made up of a mixture of dedicated beat sweepers and roving sweepers that covered multiple locations.

b.    The Panel commented that although criticism for cleanliness standards tended to be levied at Veolia, the Council, and the Councillors that sat on the Council, were responsible for large cuts to the budget for waste and street cleansing. A Panel member commented that more needed to be done to incentivise people to take more responsibility for the waste they produced, both in terms of positive incentives and negative reinforcement, such as FPNs. It was suggested that the Council needed to find ways of bringing back civic pride and that a campaign should be launched to this effect. The example of Canterbury Council was given and a communication campaign based around a message that ‘this is your area’ was put forward.  In relation to comms messages around dumping, officers agreed to send Cllr Bull a copy of the Cleaner Haringey Strategy. (Action: Beth Waltzer).

c.    The Panel raised concerns about dumping and bin provision on Somerset Gardens. The Panel also noted concerns about estates that were managed by more than one provider, leading to a lack of accountability for waste management. In response, officers advised that they were aware of the problem and were working with HfH to enforce against third party owners such as housing associations. However, officers acknowledged that this was a difficult process. Officers agreed to speak to the Area Manager and provide an update on Somerset Gardens and the next steps to improve this location. (Action: Eubert Malcolm).

d.    The Panel welcomed the roll-out of bins for flats above shops and advocated that they would like to see this done more quickly. Officers acknowledged that they would love to be able to roll this out even quicker but cautioned that there was a lot of work involved in understanding what was required along with undertaking an impact assessment and consulting with key stakeholders, such as Veolia, Highways, businesses and the residents themselves. Officers assured Members that they would roll this about as quickly as was practicable. 

e.    The Panel set out that they would like to see a widening of the shutter gallery project to improve the look and feel of local businesses. Officers advised that they were working closely with colleagues in Regen on this project and would feed back to Regen colleagues about the request to widened it out to more locations, including Broad Lane.

f.     The Panel queried the reasons behind a drop in the recycling rate to 31.8%. Officers advised that a significant reason for this was around legislative changes on no longer being able to recycle certain materials that had already been recycled. The Panel was also advised that the introduction of chargeable garden waste had been a contributing factor. 

g.    The Panel questioned whether any analysis had been done of the relationship between the per capita number of businesses in a borough and the amount of flytipping/recycling that took place. In response, officers advised that they were not aware of any specific benchmarking on this for different boroughs. Following further questions around fly-tipping and dumped bags of clothes, officers advised that they would circulate a breakdown of the make-up of fly tips in the borough. (Action: Beth Waltzer).

h.    In relation to what checks were done to ensure that wheelie bins were being put back in the correct place, officers advised that this formed part of the contract monitoring that was undertaken. There were two contract monitoring officers who monitored all of the relevant  performance measures. 

i.      In relation to garden waste, officers advised that the NLWA undertook a waste compilation study previously and that another study would likely be undertaken in due course. Officers set out that the fly-tipping breakdown would also show dumped garden waste.  

j.      The Panel commented that there seemed to be increasing numbers of bins left on the pavement in and around the Ladders, which was not so prevalent 12 months ago. The Panel questioned whether this was perhaps related to new teams being in place which were not familiar with the location or whether there were additional time pressures on the crews. In response, officers acknowledged that there were a lot of new staff, partly as a result of  the national shortage of drivers and that this had led to a number of agency staff being used who were less familiar with the routes

k.    Officers advised that the new Veolia Waste Manager for the west of the borough was Jennifer Barrett. 

l.      The Panel raised concerns about blocked drains following the heavy flooding earlier in the summer and that there had been a number of complaints about basement levels flooding, especially in and around Stroud Green. In response, officers advised that they were aware of blocked gulley’s due to detritus and that there was a programme in place to unblock them. However, they were not aware of the flooding issue and requested that members email them with further details.

m.  Members requested that drains in areas that experienced flooding be prioritised going forwards.

n.    The Chair noted that in Staffordshire Veolia had successfully rolled out the separate collection of paper and card recycling which had saved the authority a significant amount money due a reduction in those waste streams being contaminated by broken glass. Officers advised that this could potentially be a different proposition to implement in an inner-London Borough than a more rural English county. Officers acknowledged that this would be something that they would look at as part of a range of possible measures to improve recycling when they undertook the service review.




That Members noted the contents of the report.

Supporting documents: