30 March 2021 by Robyn White

York considers monthly recycling collections

City of York council is considering moving to three-weekly or monthly recycling collections under plans to improve recycling rates.

Yorwaste currently collects recycling twice a fortnight

The proposals were set out in a committee meeting on the 25 March, where three options were considered, two of which reduce the frequency of recycling collections but increase the size of bins.

The change comes as a report on the 3 March said the council needs to consider future recycling collections in light of the Resources and Waste strategy prior to procuring new vehicles.

The committee have now been asked to consider the options and determine a preferred option that “meets the criteria and is also most likely to increase recycling”.

Currently, recycling in York gets two collections a fortnight, with green waste being collected once a fortnight, and the three boxes for dry recycling (plastic and tins, paper and card and glass) also collected once a fortnight.

Collections are carried out by North Yorkshire waste management company, Yorwaste.

Options

The first option being considered by the council would see no changes to collections but would see the council launch a communications campaign to encourage people to recycle more.

A second option would see no changes to residual collections, however recycling rounds would move to once every three weeks.

Residents would get another recycling box to separate paper and card and a wheeled bin for plastic tins and glass, and garden waste collections would increase to once every three weeks all year round.

The final option would see recycling collections move to once a month. The council would also begin collecting textiles and batteries.

Residents would get a bin for paper and card, a bin for plastic, tins and glass, a box for textiles and a box for batteries. Garden waste collections would stay the same, at once a fortnight from April 1 to the end of November.

While exact costs for each option weren’t provided, the council says by reducing the frequency of collections but increasing the number of bins, they will be able to deliver cost savings and help to increase the council’s current 48.4% recycling rate.

Feedback

At the meeting, some concerns were raised by councillors that some of the options were not “financially prudent”.

Cllr Claire Douglas asked how an all year round garden waste service would “make sense” during the winter months, and asked how it could be justified financially.

However director of transport, environment and planning at the council, James Gilchrist, who was outlining the plans, said that an all year round garden waste collection would solve the problem of Christmas tree recycling.

Cllr Dave Taylor added that he is worried some residents will not have space for extra bins, and urged the importance of simple messaging to residents when it comes to recycling containers.

Mr Gilchrist added that he believes option B could save the council hundreds of thousands of pounds, but did not yet have an exact figure.

This feedback will now be considered and decided at a later date.

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