Plans to make Swindon Borough Council’s kerbside waste and recycling service more efficient will come into force from 31 October.
Waste and recycling collections will remain fortnightly and blue bag collections will continue to operate weekly. However, Swindon’s current waste and recycling collection routes were developed five years ago and a review of the routes has identified that a number of efficiencies can be achieved by changing some of the routes and reducing the number of waste and recycling lorries from 32 to 29.
The new routes are expected to save £100,000 for the remainder of the current financial year and £287,000 for 2017-18. The changes have been scheduled to come into effect from the start of November to avoid the busy festive period.
As a result, just over half of Swindon’s 97,000 households will see a change in the day of the week their waste is collected. Every household in the borough will receive a letter from the Council prior to the start of the new collection arrangements, which will outline whether they will be affected by the changes and, if so, provide information on future collection dates.
Further information will also be available on the Council website in the weeks to come and the changes will also be publicised in the local media and via social media channels.
The new arrangements will see 27 per cent of households seeing their collection day brought forward, while 16 per cent will have their waste collected a day after their current collection date. Twelve per cent will have a collection two days after their current collection day and just under one per cent will have a collection three days after their current collection day.
As changes to collections will be no more than three days from current arrangements, no interim collections will be scheduled, however, support crews will be in operation throughout the changeover to ensure all rounds are covered and any missed bins are emptied as quickly as possible.
A similar change will occur for households who have subscribed to the Council’s green waste service as the recent good take-up of the service has made it difficult to keep up with demand in some areas. To resolve this, there will be some areas where garden waste collections will take place on a different day to other services, this will balance the workloads and ensure reliable collections.
A further change is that residents will be advised to put all their waste – refuse, plastics, recycling and green waste – out for 6.30am.
Residents will also be asked to ensure that material is sorted correctly within their recycling boxes to help the kerbside crews deal with waste more efficiently.
The Council’s Streetsmart department has invested in the new service to make it more efficient by acquiring a new fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles. The new fleet comes equipped with the latest technology including advanced routing systems, all-round cameras and cyclist detection. The routing system will speed up responses to residents’ waste enquiries and ensure that the routes are optimised to reduce distances travelled and avoid collections in high risk areas during peak traffic.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetsmart, said: “These changes will ensure we provide the best service possible to residents and save valuable taxpayers’ money, which is hugely important to the Council in these financially challenging times.
“We have been working hard behind the scenes to deliver the most efficient routes and we will be writing to every household about the changes, so I would urge residents to keep an eye out for that correspondence over the next few weeks.
“This isn’t just about changing waste collection dates though. Residents can also play their part in making our waste and recycling service as efficient as it can be, by separating their recycling in their boxes so our crews spend less time sorting waste at the kerbside.
“We have also invested in the service by spending money on new recycling trucks and technology which will make the service more reliable and cut the number of missed collections.”