On the 20th October 2005, I was able to ask the following question:
As you know many residents in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais are still waiting for kerbside recycling collections. I hope you would join with me in commending the many, many residents who have contacted me about this problem and who in the meantime are adopting informal arrangements with friends in other parts of the Ward ho have recycling collections to take their recyclables to them or visiting the Waungron Road Dept on a fortnightly basis to deliver their recyclables there. However, what explanation can you give to one constituent who has informed me that on four out of the last five occasions he has visited Waungron Road, the recycling skips have been full and he has been unable to leave his waste?
The response I received to this question, from Cllr. Elgan Morgan was:
I am glad to hear that many people in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais are keen to receive the free doorstep recycling collection, which this administration will deliver right across Cardiff before 2008. At the Waungron site the recycling skips are serviced by "special" vehicles that can be necessarily withdrawn from service for repair. Currently we have a vehicle unable due to a broken bracket on the lifting mechanism. The hire company has been contracted to arrange the repair as soon as possible.
Contingency arrangements are in place at the site through the use of 1100 litre wheeled containers that are emptied daily by a recycling collection vehicle. The frequency of these collections has been increased due to the amount of recycling materials that are being delivered by the public, but this is proving not to be entirely satisfactory.
The underlying problem at Waungron Road is the lack of space for recycling activities within a very busy cleansing and refuelling depot, which means that the effects of any operational difficulty are quickly translated into inconvenience for our customers. For example additional 1100 litre containers cannot be delivered to the site because of space restraints. Also, the Chief Waste Management Officer has instructed that in this busy and congested depot environment that great care needs to be exercised in order to minimise the risks to the public, this includes temporarily closing the depot to the public while machinery is being moved about.
The draft Municipal Waste Strategy confirms the need to achieve substantially more recycling at Household Waste Recycling sites in future years and this will be reflected in out decisions as we move the waste agenda further forward.
I followed this question up with a supplementary:
Would you not agree that the problems that residents are experiencing, when they are really trying their best to recycle their waste, are unacceptable and do you agree that proposals need to be brought forward at the earliest opportunity?
To which Cllr. Morgan replied:
It would be handy if Members paid more attention to what goes on in Council. We are bringing forward proposals for kerbside recycling for every household by 2008. We have discussed this matter several times. The Executive will be making the final decisions on the operation at the next meeting.
On the 29th September I also asked other questions on this topic:
I wrote to you on 6 July 2005 requesting that recycling collections are contended in my ward at the earliest opportunity. I have not received a reply from you almost four months on. When can I expect to receive this reply and when can my constituents expect to have recycling collections?
The reply I received to this question from Cllr. Morgan was:
Firstly I answered you letter on 3 August; if you did not receive it I have a copy here for you.
As you are aware we are committed to delivering free door-step recycling to every household in Cardiff by 2008. This has been discussed at Council several times and I am rather surprised that you needed to ask again.
For your information through, the roll-out will begin after Christmas and will take around a year and a half - if everything goes to plan - to finish. Officer are currently finalising the details of the roll-out, including when each ward is programmed to receive the new service, and will be brought to the November Executive Business Meeting.
As part of the roll-out process engagement with Ward Members is planned so that you can play a part in the challenging job in informing all households of this major change to the waste collection service and the benefits which will be delivered.
My supplementary question:
Can I ask what criteria you'll be using to determine who gets priority in the roll-out?
To which Cllr. Morgan replied:
There are two elements. Firstly, the MRF requires good quality recycling for a period of six months. This is a recommendation of the manufacturers of the plant and we need to do that for insurance purposes. We found that some areas of the City do this and some areas do not. We have to balance it up that way. It is slightly cheaper to do bin areas first and then bag areas. If you are in a bag are you'll be further down the queue.