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Improvements to waste collection service

Barnet Council’s Environment Committee last night (Tuesday, 5 June 2018) agreed a range of proposals to improve the efficiency of recycling and waste collections.

The changes are aimed at ensuring services are run in the most efficient, effective and economical way possible. Committee members agreed proposals, including the reorganisation of recycling and refuse rounds to improve efficiency. This will allow Barnet Council to plan for future population growth in the borough, as well as enabling crews to be much more responsive to localised needs and issues.

Changes to the way food waste will be collected from residents’ homes was also agreed. Currently, the separately collected food waste is taken to an anaerobic digestion facility for energy generation. With only around 25 per cent of homes making use of separate weekly food waste collections, residents will instead be asked to dispose of their food waste in their black waste bin. This waste will then be taken to an Energy from Waste facility, where it will be used as fuel for electricity generation.

The additional collection cost of the separate weekly food waste service is £300,000 per year, for around 5,000 tonnes of food waste, equating to £60 for every tonne collected.

Green garden waste collections will also undergo some changes. Services will be simplified with collections only taking place on weekdays. They will also be reconfigured to reflect the reduction in usage over the winter months, with a six-week suspension of services taking place each year. This schedule was trialled during last winter. Collection of Christmas trees will, however, be scheduled to take place throughout January.

Committee members also agreed for penalties for anyone caught littering or fly-tipping to be toughened up to act as a deterrent. Those caught littering will now face an increased fine of £100, while anyone caught fly-tipping, will be handed a fixed penalty notice of £400, as well as facing possible prosecution.

In total, the proposed changes agreed by the committee will save the taxpayer £790,000 and come into effect in September 2018.

Chairman of the Environment Committee, Councillor Dean Cohen, said: “We know that refuse and recycling collections are of huge importance to residents in Barnet. That’s why we will continue to provide weekly waste collections. We are also looking at how we can continue to provide a high-quality service, in the most efficient way.

“The proposals agreed will see more efficient weekly collection rounds, food waste incorporated into existing collection services, garden waste collections better tailored to suit demand, and stiffer penalties for anyone caught littering or fly-tipping in the borough.”

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