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NRAs 2019: Local Authority Success – Overall Service Change

WINNER: Stroud District Council

Stroud’s aim for its new contract and collection scheme was to meet the Gloucestershire joint waste committee targets of 60% recycling and reducing residual waste to less than 456kg/household per year by 2020.

While the scheme was being designed, public consultation revealed strong support for a separate food waste collection and a paid-for garden waste collection.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This was an impressive scheme, with ambitious targets. It was well delivered, and they provided detailed metrics as evidence.”

Stroud’s new scheme has a weekly food waste collection with food waste bin and kitchen caddy, fortnightly commingled dry recyclate collections (plastic, cans and glass) in a 240-litre green bin, and separate paper, card and beverage carton collections via a 44-litre box. The latter avoids contamination with glass and forces residents to fold cardboard which makes loading easier.

A paid-for fortnightly garden waste collection service runs from February to November. Residual waste is collected fortnightly in a 140-litre grey bin to restrict volume – this, alongside the weekly food waste collections, is a key to the scheme’s success.

Stroud’s recycling rate subsequently rocketed from 45% to 61%, and it became the most improved council in England for 2017/18. Residual waste dropped from 546kg per household per year to 260kg – the lowest in England.

Implementation involved a crossparty member, officer and service provider (Ubico) group that met regularly, commissioning surveys and research to develop and plan the scheme. It continued to meet for nearly two years after the start of the scheme, and detailed monitoring of the contract was also established.

CO2e savings of more than 3,009 tonnes a year have been achieved by sending food waste to anaerobic digestion compared with landfill.

FINALISTS

  • Blaby District Council
  • Croydon Council
  • Isle of Wight Council
  • Sutton Council

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