GMB Members In Brighton And Hove Cityclean Vote For Strike Action

The £660m Problem: Time To Stamp Out Cigarette Littering

Over nine in ten smokers think it’s fine to drop cigarettes in the street after they’ve finished with them, new figures reveal, costing councils over half a billion pounds to clear up.

The survey conducted shows that many smokers forced outdoors by tobacco laws, have a blind spot about littering, with a significant proportion believing that their used cigarettes are “safe” biodegradable waste.

The BusinessWaste.co.uk company says that up to half of all litter swept up from streets is smoking related, and costs councils millions of pounds per year.

“And these clean-up costs are just the tip of the iceberg,” said BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “Most smokers don’t realise the hidden dangers of cigarette littering and its lasting environmental effect.”

According to 1650 smokers interviewed by Business Waste:

  • 90% would drop a cigarette butt in the street if there was no bin nearby
  • 18% say they always drop their used cigarettes in the street
  • Of those who dropped cigarettes while walking or standing, 41% said they don’t bother to stamp it out
  • 30% of in-car smokers say they tip ash and throw lit cigarette butts out of the window

BusinessWaste.co.uk says that tough love is needed for errant smokers – and that means frequent and harsh fines for littering offenders. While stories often appear in the press about a smoker being fined for “only” one dropped butt, that single cigarette is one too many. Councils should be praised for taking action, not criticised, Mark Hall thinks

“It’s got to stop,” says Hall, “Smoking’s a deadly habit and its after-effect just keeps on giving.”

 

New Kent Contract Added To Biffa’s HWRC Portfolio

Municipal contractor Biffa has been awarded a new six-year contract by Kent County Council to manage 12 household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) and three transfer stations in the county.

Estimated to be worth around £5m annually, the new contract starts in November and includes an option for a six-year extension from 2020.

Under its original contracts with the county council, Biffa had been managing eight HWRCs and one transfer station for the past seven years (two of the HWRCs having been overseen by Biffa since 2000).

The new contract expands Biffa’s Kent portfolio by around a third, and includes managing the haulage of recyclable materials from the sites for reprocessing and disposal.

In 2013-14, the HWRCs handled nearly 100,000 tonnes of materials, while the three transfer stations processed almost 120,000 tonnes.

A new contract feature is that ownership of certain materials deposited at the HWRCs – scrap metal, plasterboard, tyres, asbestos, cans, plastic bottles and re-usable furniture – will transfer to Biffa which will be responsible for sourcing appropriate reprocessing and reuse outlets, or disposal.

 

GMB Members In Brighton And Hove Cityclean Vote For Strike Action

GMB members employed by Brighton & Hove Cityclean as refuse and recycling drivers have voted to take industrial action over employer’s “failure to adhere to agreements on pay and allowances.”

Action will consist of both continuous action short of strike action commencing from Fri 12 Sept and will involve for example a ban on overtime, and non-collection of side waste, together with an initial one day of strike action on Monday 15 Sept.

The dispute has come about through the Council’s failure to honour agreements over pay and allowances, the failure to consult meaningfully over new working practices and long standing issues over round allocation and distribution. This is compounded by further issues around over similar work not attracting equal pay within the Council and drivers being unfairly harassed and removed from rounds outside of Council policy and procedures.

It had been agreed that to allow the then on-going talks to progress, both sides would agree to a pause in public statements whilst a mutually agreed settlement was sort.

Unfortunately talks now have broken down. GMB notified the council on 5 Sept that there was a 89.7 percent vote in favour of strike action and 96.4 percent in favour of action short of a strike action, will be commencing industrial action.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch secretary said: “The people of Brighton and Hove will see the service affected potentially for weeks or even months to come as both the continuous part of action short of strike begins to have a long term accumulative effect on the service in the city, on top of the consequence, which I’m sure residents are well aware, of any initial day of industrial action and the further potentially damage to collections following any further added dates.”

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