You ask, we answer.
We will keep adding your questions to this page in the run up to the service changes starting from 6 November 2017.
Click on the question to find the answer.
What is staying the same?
Will the garden waste collection change?
Will my collection day change?
What if the waste bin you provide for rubbish is not big enough?
What size is the 140 litre wheeled bin?
I don’t have much rubbish, can I still use carrier bags to put my rubbish out for collection?
What about residents in flats within the heritage centre of Bath with limited storage?
Can I continue to use my blue bag for cardboard?
Why can’t we mix all our recycling in one big bin for collection like other authorities?
When will the changes happen?
Will I still be able to put ash, charcoal and other used fuels from solid fuel fires out for the rubbish collection?
There are three main reasons why the services have been reviewed and changes agreed by the Council.
1. To keep our streets cleaner - containing rubbish in a wheeled bin or re-useable rubbish bag will prevent animals and birds ripping open bags and making a mess in our streets, which is unpleasant for everyone.
2. To recycle more - we already have a very comprehensive recycling collection where you can recycle 17 different types of household waste every week. We know that residents can recycle more than they are currently doing - about 75% of a household's waste can be recycled using the current collections, but we still find that over half of an average rubbish bag consists of items that could have been recycled. Our local research shows that if you recycle all you can, you will still have space left in your rubbish bin when collected every other week. Encouraging further recycling will also help get better value from the services and help towards achieving our goal of Zero Waste.
3. To save money - The collections are currently supported by a Government grant of £450K per year. This grant will end in March 2017 so there is a real pressure to streamline the services. We want to continue to provide a first class collection service with one of the most comprehensive recycling services in the country, but we are also dealing with reductions in funding from national government. Every lorry load of rubbish costs us £1,000 to dispose of whilst every lorry load of recycling earns an income of £100, so reducing the amount put out as rubbish is essential.
If your property has space, we’ll provide a 140 litre wheeled bin to safely store the rubbish that is left after you’ve recycled everything you can, so it doesn’t create any litter. Where a wheeled bin is not appropriate for your property we will provide a re-usable rubbish bag (where practical) to contain your black bags and help reduce street litter. We will collect your rubbish every other week. There may be areas in central Bath that are not suitable for every other week collections of rubbish and the Council is working with ward councillors, Residents Associations and other groups to come up with the right solution.
All households with a green box will continue to receive a weekly collection service of the following materials:
- Food waste
- Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
- Paper and cardboard
- Aluminium and steel cans
- Food and drink cartons
- Small electrical and electronic items
- Spectacles/mobile phones/used engine oil.
We will provide extra recycling boxes on request and give clearer instructions on what we can collect in each box for recycling.
The garden waste service will continue to run on a subscription basis every other week.
It may. We will need to redesign routes for our vehicles so your collection day may change - we will inform you of any change when we deliver your bin.
Each wheeled bin holds 140 litres or around three-four black sacks of non-recyclable rubbish – this should be enough for most households who recycle all that they can through the weekly collections. We do appreciate that 'one size does not fit all' though, and will be able to provide extra space for rubbish where there is a clear need (e.g. larger families or those with several children in nappies).
The approximate dimensions are: 1054mm high, 560mm wide, and 560 mm deep (front to back). You will have an opportunity to view the bins at our roadshows.
No. Sorry. We experience many litter problems from birds, animals (and humans!) scavenging from carrier bags and bin bags. We need to reduce the litter on our streets. If your rubbish is contained in a re-useable rubbish bag or wheeled bin it will stop this from happening. It will also stop bags from splitting and spreading litter when our collectors pick them up. We need your help in using the containers we will provide to reduce the litter problems we have. It’s great that you produce only a small amount of rubbish, but we still need to stop the chance of it turning into litter.
We appreciate that a 'one size fits all' approach will not be appropriate. We will assess streets in the city on an individual basis to determine the most appropriate frequency of collection. We intend to issue re-usable rubbish bags to such properties in the city if they don’t already have them, to ensure that the mess spread by gulls and animals is reduced.
Our aim is to get all residents using the weekly recycling service effectively to its maximum potential – an average sized household should really have very little rubbish left if they use the recycling service to its full potential including recycling their food waste. There will be very few places where the small amount of rubbish remaining can’t be stored for a collection every other week, if the recycling services are fully used.
What if I live in the heritage centre and use a traditional dustbin, will I have to use a re-usable rubbish bag instead of this?
No. If your dustbin contains your waste so that it can’t be scavenged or spread litter then it is fine to continue to use this. If your dustbin is already doing a good job at stopping the spread of litter then great. We will only empty one dustbin per household though as we want you to recycle as much of your waste as possible. If you do this there should only be a small amount left to put in your dustbin.
In order to keep your re-useable rubbish bag clean, you will need to contain your rubbish before putting it in the bag. This also ensures that the crew can remove all of the rubbish easily and cleanly. If you are producing larger amounts of rubbish and are likely to fill the re-usable bag, then we suggest you put your rubbish into a black sack and then into the re-useable bag. If you have a small amount of rubbish left after recycling then putting it into tied carrier bags and then into the re-useable bag is fine.
What if I don’t want a wheeled bin and am happy using my traditional dustbin, can I continue to use this?
No. Sorry. If we give you a wheeled bin then we would like you to use it. We won’t be able to routinely empty different types of bins. Our vehicles will be fitted with bin lifts specifically designed to lift wheeled bins to make our collections more safe and efficient.
You can request as many as you need and can order these online .
Yes. We will continue to issue blue bags until our stocks run out, then we will replace these with a green box. Feedback from residents and crews shows that green boxes are generally preferred – they are easier for residents to store and for crews to empty.
Sorting recycling into boxes ensures that the quality of the materials remains high, and that they can be sold at good prices in established markets. Councils that collect mixed recyclables generally have to pay for expensive sorting plants to remove contamination and therefore do not benefit from the sale of any recycling – they have to pay to get rid of it rather than selling it. We have researched and modelled extensively different collection options for us, and the sorting into boxes method proves to be the most cost effective overall for our circumstances.
The collection services will change from 6 November 2017 but we will provide plenty of information to you in advance of this.
Will I still be able to put ash, charcoal and other used fuels from solid fuel fires out for the rubbish collection?
Yes, but please do not put hot ash, charcoal or similar materials from fires, barbeques or portable barbeques straight into your wheeled bin. Allow all barbeque materials such as ashes and charcoal to cool completely – or damp them down fully – before placing in the wheeled bin. A small bucket or your old metal dustbin could be ideal for this purpose. Once cooled, please put into bags before putting in the wheeled bin to keep ash contained when tipped.
If we give you a wheeled bin you can double wrap your medical waste in plastic bags and it will be stored securely until collection. If you don’t have a bin or there’s a reason you can’t store the waste safely then we do have a clinical waste collection service. This is an appointment based weekly service. If you contact us, we can talk through your needs with you and work out the best solution.
We are able to provide advice on buying and using re-usable nappies. These can be washed and used time and time again, so they reduce the need to generate or store waste. If you continue to use disposable nappies, and we give you a wheeled bin you can double wrap the nappies and they will be stored securely until collection.
If we give you a re-useable rubbish bag, always put a black plastic bin liner inside the bag so that your re-useable rubbish bag can stay clean. Our crews can then take the whole black plastic bin liner full of rubbish when they collect. One suggestion is to put nappies into scented bags/double wrapped in bags, and put them into a lidded bucket/container within your home, which can be emptied into your re-useable rubbish bag each time it is full.
If you need a bigger bin because you have 2 or more children in nappies we can help with this.
You can order online or call Council Connect 01225 39 40 41
We have started publicising the service changes and new collections - our publicity includes website updates, articles in Connect magazine, leaflets to all households, roadshows, 'waste doctor' home visits, talks to community groups and much more. If you are member of a community group and would like us to visit to give a talk, or if you are running a community event where we may be able to have a roadshow please contact Council Connect.
There will be an opportunity to view the bins at roadshows and more detailed information on the changes made widely available throughout 2017.
In March 2017, in advance of delivering the new containers for rubbish, all households will receive written notification of whether their property has been allocated a wheeled bin or a re-usable rubbish bag. There will also be plenty of opportunity to discuss any concerns about storage or extra space needed for left over rubbish which can’t be recycled.
The reasons for the change were to reduce street litter, increase recycling and to ensure that the service is affordable. Our voicebox survey which goes to a representative sample of over 1000 residents asked for views about wheeled bins, and our published waste strategy detailed that we would review our service in 2016 and look at issues such as frequency of collection and containerisation. The Cabinet report was published in July 2016 detailing the proposal, and residents had the opportunity to make their views known to the cabinet. We are now entering the public engagement period, where work has already begun on communications to residents to create an awareness of the changes to come. More detailed communications will take place in March 2017 and onwards, letting people know the bin type they will be receiving. A detailed communication plan is in place and includes a large variety of engagements with residents including door knocking, road shows and residents association meetings.
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