Thursday 23 May 2024
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Victoria Centre flats could get ‘Oxford-style’ waste collections

More Nottingham people took part in a consultation over significant changes to bins and waste collection than a poll over the future of the former Broadmarsh Centre.

Nottingham City Council held a public consultation, which ended in December, to determine how waste will be collected in future as it seeks to become carbon neutral by 2028.

The authority says it needs a new strategy because of Government targets to increase the amount of waste recycled in England to 65 per cent while keeping waste that ends up in landfill below 10 per cent.

While Nottingham currently only sends around eight per cent of its collected waste to landfill, the council says its recycling rates need to be improved.

The city’s recycling rate in 2019 was 27 per cent, however by October 2022, it had fallen to 23.9 per cent.

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In the consultation, residents were asked to choose between two different methods of waste collection: ‘twin stream’ and ‘multi-stream’.

More than 3,600 people responded and the results came back almost 50/50.

Twin stream means residents will get a container for food waste, collected every week, as well as a container for paper and card and a bin for their remaining recycling including glass, plastic and cartons.

These will be collected fortnightly.

Multi-stream will mean residents will get multiple containers for food waste, paper and card, as well as separate containers for each recycling material such as glass and plastic.

This method will require a new type of bin lorry and waste would be collected weekly.

More than 30 per cent of waste collected in Nottingham’s green bins is food waste and so a separate food waste container would be provided in both cases.

General waste bin sizes would therefore be reduced as a result.

During a scrutiny committee meeting on February 8, councillors were informed a total of 3,646 responses were submitted.

“We’ve had this fantastic response rate,” Wayne Bexton, the Director of Environment and Sustainability, said.

“So to put it into perspective the Broadmarsh Big Conversation got just over 3,000 responses, so we’ve had more than that, which I think is really good.”

In the responses, 37 per cent of respondents said they would prefer multi-stream, while 38 per cent said they would most benefit from twin-stream.

A further 16 per cent said they had no preference.

When asked if people could manage with a smaller general bin, around 45 per cent said they could.

Concerns were however raised over the lack of any significant response from different groups, including students, people living with disabilities and members of minority ethnic communities.

“It won’t be a one-size fits all and we need to learn from different communities and different areas what will be best for them,” said Cllr Sally Longford (Lab), who is responsible for environment, energy and waste.

Cllr Longford said a food waste collection trial will take place in March.

It will be a similar scheme to one trialled in 2007, before being axed as part of budget cuts at the time.

Mr Bexton added: “I would reiterate really the strategy, as other authorities have done, will be setting the direction for the organisation and it will be on that journey we will come up maybe with the specifics in different areas.

“That will give us the opportunity to build on the fantastic response in individual communities to understand what’s going to work for them and how best that is going to be implemented over a period of time.

“It is going to be a long process.”

Concerns had been raised, before the consultation went out to the public, about residents in smaller properties, such as flats, who may not have enough room to store multiple smaller bins.

Alvin Henry, Head of Service at the council, addressed the concerns and said a “bespoke” waste collection strategy will be developed for the Victoria Centre flats, for example.

He added: “In terms of flats we are developing some different approaches to flats, mainly the Victoria Centre flats.

“We are keen to study Oxford, which has a high percentage of flats but a good percentage who are recycling.

“We plan to go to Oxford and potentially mirror some of theirs.”

The strategy is expected to go forward for executive members’ approval in March.

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