Discussions will take place over the next two days as councillors from Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council discuss whether plans to move to a shared waste service will, in fact, go ahead, but there is support from councillors from both authorities.
Councillors have been presented with a report that claims costs could be cut by 15 percent within three years; annual savings of around £350,000 could be achieved in the next 12 months, increasing to around £700,000 for 2017.
The plans concern a move to a shared waste service with a single management team for Cambridge and the surrounding South Cambridgeshire villages, with further savings also coming from restructuring bin collection rounds across the district and city border. Cambridge City Council’s team would relocate to South Cambridgeshire District Council’s depot in Waterbeach, which is next to AmeyCespa’s centre, where waste from black, green and blue bins from both councils is currently tipped. Redesigning waste collection rounds to ignore local authority boundaries will also help the councils respond to housing growth across the area, the report has recommended.
Waste and recycling collection in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire currently costs around £5.2m and the councils would divide the money saved equally to help meet some of the savings required following reductions to government grant funding.
Councillors at South Cambridgeshire District Council will discuss the report at a cabinet meeting today (Thursday 16 October) and Cambridge City Council’s environment scrutiny committee will debate the plans tomorrow (Friday 17 October), but as the quotes below show, there is support of the proposals to go ahead.
Cllr Peter Roberts, Executive Councillor for Environment, Waste and Public Health at Cambridge City Council, said: “A good quality waste collection and recycling service for the city is so important and by joining forces with South Cambridgeshire District Council we can maintain and improve our service whilst achieving significant savings that are necessary given that we have less money overall. I welcome the opportunity to make these changes and to protect vital Council services in this way.”
Cllr Mick Martin, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Reductions to the funding we receive from government, twinned with a growing population, means we have to continue to find ways to do more for less. The growth on the border of our area with Cambridge City means working closer together makes perfect sense; by being smarter with the way we set up our rounds we will deliver better value-for-money for council taxpayers. Our recent changes show how we try our best to minimise the effect on residents and staff, and by continuing to work with the unions we are looking to do this again.”