Biffa Takes Over North Somerset Recycling Collections

From yesterday (1 March), Biffa has taken over from Kier in the operation of North Somerset’s recycling and waste collection.

Under the new contract, residents will be able to recycle more items at the kerbside with small electrical appliances (up to the size of a small toaster) and spectacles being added to the scheme.

Changes are also being made at the three recycling centres including the introduction of webcams, which the council says will help residents see how busy the centres are before they travel to them. Hard plastics, such as storage boxes, watering cans and toys can also be taken to the centres for recycling.

Cllr Peter Bryant, North Somerset Council’s executive member – “You can also recycle extra items at our recycling centres meaning even less will now be sent to landfill helping the environment and saving council tax payers’ money.”

Residents are also being encouraged to register for the new garden waste service if they want to continue to receive regular collections.

Cllr Peter Bryant, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for waste management said the recycling rate in North Somerset was already one of the best in the country and the new service provided the opportunity to recycle even more.

“We would like to thank all our residents for their efforts in making us one of the best recycling councils in the country. We would now urge people to recycle even more by making the most of the extra items that can be recycled at the kerbside.

“You can also recycle extra items at our recycling centres meaning even less will now be sent to landfill helping the environment and saving council tax payers’ money.”

The new contract changes include:

Kerbside collections

  • Collection of small items of electrical equipment (up to the size of a small toaster) will be collected by the kerbside recycling crews
  •  Vehicles will have 360 degree cameras fitted which will help reduce missed collections and reduce the number of impatient drivers trying to get past collection vehicles by dangerously mounting pavements
  • Crews will record all assisted collections carried out meaning the council will be able to get near real-time information on crew collection progress during the day, which will help residents when they report any missed collections
  • Crews will record and take photos of any justified missed collections such as contaminated recycling boxes, double bins/side waste or parked cars which prevents collections taking place. Again this will help the council when they receive calls from residents
  • A commercial waste service will be available for small businesses to sign up to
  • Food waste collection will be rolled out to flats
  • Garden waste will be collected from bins rather than the existing bag service. Smaller bags are available by exception to those properties which have bagged waste collection or in other circumstances where bin collection is not feasible
  • Bulky waste collections will be carried out by Changing Lives on a trial period. This will reduce costs and increase reuse of items.

Recycling centres

  • Hard plastics (such as garden furniture) and plate glass will be able to be recycled at all three sites
  • There will be dedicated reuse areas at all three sites. These items will be used by a local supplier such as Changing Lives, North Somerset Reuse Project or Somerset Wood Recycling where items will prepared and then sold for reuse
  • Small businesses will be able to use the centres at a charge to recycle or dispose of a limited amount of material (up to 10 bags). This will be introduced in April/May and will help small businesses and reduce fly-tipping
  • Charges for construction/DIY material will be introduced from 3 April (there is a one bag per visit free allowance for these materials)
  • Staff will be incentivised to divert reuse and recycling from the residual waste bins
  • Staff will have body cams to reduce conflict
  • Web cams will be at all sites which will show how busy sites are and for residents to view online
  • There are changes to the opening hours at the sites with Backwell being closed on Wednesday and Thursday and Portishead on Tuesday
  • The changes to opening hours and charging for DIY waste is expected to save £225,000 per year.

Local social value

  • 3-5% of the workforce will be in apprenticeships or traineeships

Garden waste

  • The change to bins for collecting garden waste has been going well and all those households registered by mid-February will have their bins delivered before garden waste collections start from 1 March.
  • The council anticipates that more residents will register once collections start and has laid on additional staff to deal with registration calls and more capacity at the recycling centres for receiving garden waste.
  • The old garden waste bags that are placed out on the highway will be tagged with advice on how to register for the service, that garden waste can be taken to the recycling centres free of charge and requesting that the bag is removed from the highway.
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