DUMFRIES and Galloway Council is introducing a kerbside collection service for waste after terminating its PFI
contract with a private company.
The economy, environment and infrastructure committee approved the recommendations to go ahead with a scheme which will prove popular with residents.
Everyone will be able to recycle plastic, metals, paper and cardboard at home and take glass to community points using a box provided by the council.
Only six towns will have food waste collected from a domestic bin, while other communities can continue to put food waste into their general bin.
The council was advised that mixing recyclable items in one bin would risk greater contamination and did not meet the required standards set by the Scottish government and Zero Waste Scotland.
The option put to members has a significant advantage because only one type of vehicle is needed for all collections.
It means two additional 240-litre wheelie bins will have to be bought for each household. Residents who can’t accommodate the extra bins will be given bags for recycling.
With the preferred option, all vehicle and crew running costs will remain the same as now and the only extra cost is in buying the vehicles, bins and community points for glass. The annual cost is calculated to be £4.031m.
The council has looked at optimising the efficiency of the routes chosen and of getting rid of “task and finish”, under which crews finish once they have completed their work.
Task and finish can encourage unsafe working practices in a bid to have an early finish and is not favoured for health and safety reasons.
Talks have been held with the joint trade unions about ending task and finish. The potential for a four-day week may be an incentive to aid negotiations but the council is aware there may be resistance to the proposals.
The council is also reviewing how household waste recycling centres, including in Annan and Lockerbie, are used to try to do more to deter trade waste from being taken to them.
The committee will discuss the issue again in July and over the coming months the council will undertake the necessary measures to progress to implantation.
Councillor Archie Dryburgh, who chairs the committee, told Canonbie community councillors at their monthly meeting: “Part of my role as chairman was to look at how we best deliver waste collection.
“We’re now in charge of the wagons doing the collections and we’re looking at having three bins: one for general waste to be collected every fortnight; one for paper and cardboard; and another for plastic and metals.
“Food waste is an important issue for us. Six postcodes in the large towns will have food waste collected from a waste bin.
“Everyone else can still put their food waste in their general bin because the eco-deco plant will treat it. No waste from the plant goes to landfill.
“If the recycling bins get contaminated, they can be taken to the eco-deco plant for treatment.
“We also need to get rid of our old vehicles; some are 14 years old and their usual lifespan is seven years.
“We will buy 13 new vehicles which will be better for emissions and they’ll have cameras, partly for staff safety. They aren’t electric because there are too few charging points but they are more efficient.”
Mr Dryburgh explained the council had terminated the contract early and, because there were still 11 years of the 25 years to run, this had cost £6.9m.
He added: “There are a lot of good things about bringing this back in house because the decisions will be made by the elected members. Now we can move forward with a better service.”
The council had retained seven of the nine landfill sites and Renewi still had the contract for two.
The council would also have community bring points for small items, like glass, and they would be no further away than 1km from a settlement. Communities would be consulted on their locations.