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Executive Summary

Waste management is an important service provided by the council that is used by every resident. In 2015 the Council set out its updated waste strategy and publically consulted on the proposals. The strategy sets out plans until 2020 and includes changes to the service to reduce waste, improve recycling and continue to reduce the waste sent to landfill.

This evidence document provides background information on the research undertaken to support the strategy and subsequent Environment and Community Services Committee where the strategy will be discussed and proposed for formal adoption.

It starts by summarising the current performance and the progress made since 2000 but also highlights the challenges to reduce waste and increase recycling.

It explores case studies and good practice of other authorities using smaller black bins such as Stockport who provide 140 litre bins and a reported recycling rate of 60.6 percent in 2014-15 and North Somerset who provide 180 litre and have a reported recycling performance of 60.10 percent.

Evidence is presented on what residents currently throw away in the black bin at the kerbside as well as in black bags at the Sort It recycling centres. It highlights that 52 percent at kerbside and 75 percent at the Sort It recycling Centres could have been recycled using existing services. Information is also included on the number of residents currently using the recycling services provided, with positive evidence of plastic, cardboard and glass participation but less for food, paper, textiles and small electrical items.

Detailed benchmarking with other authorities highlights the performance levels that could be achieved if we adopted the proposals put forward in the strategy. The benchmarking also includes a recent WRAP report that highlights the relationship between lower recycling rates and larger black bin capacity.

Detailed research of some of the resident engagement that has taken place (including trialling containers, focus groups, door knocking surveys and nappy trials) has highlighted a need to make the current service simpler and easier to use and to review containers. It has also shown that views are spilt and residents have concerns over fly tipping if the size of the black bins are reduced.

The results from the formal public consultation are presented separately and can be found at