The Local Government Association and the Waste & Resources Action Programme have invited local authorities to sign up to a commitment to provide residents with a good recycling and waste service.
The Waste Collection Commitment is a voluntary agreement which aims to help local authorities improve residents satisfaction with how their rubbish and recycling is collected and boost recycling rates.
Based on research on residents views in England about what they like and dislike about their existing services and in consultation with local authorities, the Commitment, includes ten principles backed by a technical report explaining why these were chosen.
The research found that public satisfaction with local authority communications concerning waste and recycling is lower than many other aspects of collection services.
It found that 65 per cent of respondents were satisfied with council communications about changes to the day of their collection (s) and 58 per cent of respondents were satisfied with council communications about any alterations to their collection service (e.g. in what could be recycled).
When asked what aspects of their collections they liked, 17 per cent of respondents mentioned the regularity of the service, while 8 per cent of respondents said they liked the reliability of their collections.
WRAP hopes that local authorities will review not only how they design and operate their services but how they communicate with their service users by signing up to the Commitment.
The survey also showed that more than 15 per cent of respondents said their service would be improved if more materials were collected, especially plastic and glass.
LGA Environment Board chairman Gary Porter said: Councils are doing a good job when it comes to picking up the bins. Eight out of ten people are happy with their collection. This commitment gives local authorities the chance to tell their residents about the excellent service they expect. Many councils will already be doing the things outlined in the commitment but it is a great way for them to reassure residents about what they are getting.
WRAP Local Government Services director Philip Ward added: Our research shows residents up and down the country have a common view about what they expect from a collection scheme. The things they want are reasonable and not hard to deliver: a reliable, regular service that they can understand, which makes it easy for them to recycle and leaves their streets clean. We believe that these objectives are widely shared by local authorities and most of them will be prepared to make the Commitment and take the opportunity to review their service against its principles.
1. Explain clearly what services you can expect to receive;
2. Provide regular collections;
3. Provide a reliable collection service;
4. Consider any special requests that individual households may have;
5. Design our services and carry out collections in a way that doesnt produce litter;
6. Collect as many materials for recycling as we can and explain to you what happens to them;
7. Explain clearly what our service rules are and the reasons for them;
8. Tell you in good time if we have to make changes to your services, even temporarily;
9. Respond to complaints we receive about our services; and
10. Tell all our residents about this commitment to collecting waste.