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Refuse and Street Cleansing

The latest network queries circulated for this service are listed below. 

If you would like more information about any of these queries or want to submit a response, please email Wayne Priestley.

Network queries from previous years are available on the links at the bottom of the page.

RSC0880- Revising waste policies - 21.07.17

A member authority is in the process of revising waste policies for
the following services.

  • Free and Paid Bulky Collection Service – H/Hold items
  • Exemption criteria and process for food waste separation
  • Larger bin capacity provision – application process
  • Assisted Lift/ Collect and return service
  • Damaged Bins – replacement & repair procedure

They are keen to speak to others who have been through a similar
process, how others have developed the service, administration
systems used and procedures introduced.


RSC0878 - Purpose Built Student Accommodation for refuse collection - 19.07.17

When considering the principle of charging PBMSA ‘s, many local
authorities have decided not to charge student accommodations for
refuse collection whilst others have.

Those authorities which are charging, argue PBMSA’s are
managed by landlords who are charging students for rooms and
therefore these properties should be classed as commercial
businesses and subsequently charged for waste collection.

APSE is looking to prepare a briefing note on this subject following
enquiries from member authorities on whether other local authorities
are charging for refuse collections from PBMSA’s or providing
refuse collection free.

Therefore APSE would like to know the following information:

  • Does your authority charge for refuse collection from purpose built managed student accommodation?
  • If yes, what reasons did you decide upon for introducing charging?
  • Have you been challenged because of your charging policy and what was the outcome?
  • If charges are not made, why have you chosen not to charge?
  • Do you think you will charge in the future?



RSC0877 - Integrated Services – Streetscene - 19.07.17

A member authority is enquiring whether any local authorities
provide an integrated street scene service (or has done so in the
Please identify the services included (please tick ? as appropriate):
?? Waste collections
?? Street cleaning
?? Mechanical Sweepers
?? HWRC’s
?? Waste Transfer
?? Grass cutting
?? General grounds maintenance (shrub beds, bowling greens, parks, playing fields, parks, etc.)
?? Cemeteries
?? Country parks
?? Rights of Ways
?? Highways maintenance (patching, repairs, etc.)
?? Highways resurfacing
?? Gulley emptying
?? Other highways related issues
?? Street lighting

Copies of staff structures would be appreciated.

If any local authority has changed please could you identify the
main reasons (up to 5 advantages and disadvantages)

If you have changed back to separate services (or are thinking of
doing so) please could you identify why?

The enquiring authority would also be interested in knowing from
local authorities who have not changed, together with the reasons
why you have decided to maintain separate services

The enquiring authority would like to know if respondents would be
agreeable to be contacted for more information.


RSC0876 - Novelty /charity litter bins - 17.07.17

As part of its ongoing support to Defra and DCLG in developing
guidelines for the National Litter Strategy for England (2017), APSE
IS looking for information regarding the following issue.

Novelty/Charity litter bins

  • What type of novelty/charity litter bins does your local authority site?
  • Are these permanent features or do they support litter awareness campaigns?
  • What are the main locations where these bins are installed?
  • How effective have you found novelty/charity bins to be?


RSC0875 - Smart bin technology - 17.07.17

As part of its ongoing support to Defra and DCLG in developing
guidelines for the National Litter Strategy for England (2017), APSE
IS looking for information regarding the following issue.

Smart bin technology

  • Does you authority currently site and service large compactor litter bin such as Big Belly Bins?
  • Has the instillation of such bins reduced other litter bin numbers and emptying frequencies?
  • Have you found any issues with this type of bin?
  • Have you made financial savings as a result of their introduction or, been able to re-direct resources elsewhere?
  • Do you operate bin sensors in your litter bins or commercial trade bins?
  • Has the instillation of such bins reduced other litter bin numbers and emptying frequencies?
  • Have you found any issues with this type of technology?
  • Have you made financial savings as a result of their introduction or, been able to re-direct resources elsewhere?


RSC0874 - Sponsored litter bins - 13.07.17

As part of its ongoing support to Defra and DCLG in developing
guidelines for the National Litter Strategy for England (2017), APSE
IS looking for information regarding the following issue.

Sponsored litter bins

  • How easy do local authorities find it to attract sponsors for litter bins?
  • Do sponsors get a choice of bin they can sponsor.?
  • Which organisations are the main sponsors?
  • What element of the litter bin costs do they meet e.g. purchase, maintenance etc.?
  • Do sponsors place any demands on the local authority when sponsoring a bin?
  • How long does the sponsorship agreement last for?
  • Do local authorities replace damaged sponsored bins free of charge?


RSC0873 - Glove specification - 13.07.17

A member authority wishes to learn what other councils use in
terms of:
a) Glove specification for domestic waste collection duties when
pulling bins by the handles (not lifting bags/handling any bin
contents nor side waste)
b) Are there are different gloves used for handling
c) What risk assessments are conducted to determine the glove


RSC0871 - Charging for removal of graffiti off private property - 04.07.17

A member authority is enquiring whether other authorities currently
charges for removal of graffiti from private properties? And if so
would they be willing to share their costs for this operation?


RSC0870 - Toilet stops - 30.06.17

A member authority is enquiring regarding what other local
authorities do about toilet provision on waste collection rounds.

The enquiring authority have a list of toilet stops that are constantly
being updated but the loaders still find themselves caught short.
Are there any on-board toilets or portable solutions to this?

They would be interested in finding out what other LA’s do about
this as they are getting increasing reports about operatives urinating
in public.


RSC0869 - Reducing nappy contamination in recyclable waste - 30.06.17

A member authority is enquiring whether other councils that offered
additional refuse capacity for those families that have additional
medical needs or those with young children in nappies are finding
that when they reduce collection frequencies for residual waste.
The authorities mixed dry recycling contamination levels have
increased since they changed to fortnightly refuse collections from

Following weekly verification visits to their MRF, they have noticed
that there are nappies in the samples every week and sometimes
these are adult ones.

As a consequence they are contemplating changing their policy so
that they can offer those families that need them additional capacity
on a short term basis.

In relation to new requests beyond those already registered, they
are considering to have an application form available at the City’s
maternity hospital . These could then be filled in following a birth
and then sent to returned to the authority.

For families that have additional waste needs because of nonclinical
medical conditions, then they are thinking of having
application forms at doctors’ surgeries.

However they can see that this could be quite troublesome to
manage and would like some advice on how it can be done
efficiently and how these additional bins are returned to the
authority when they are no longer needed.


RSC0868 - Wheeled bins and the visually impaired - 26.06.17

A member authority has received a complaint from a resident who is
visually impaired and is suggesting that the residual grey bin once
placed at kerbside against the grey pavement is not as visible and
therefore believes this is an obstruction to visually impaired . The
resident further advises in his opinion that kerbside collections
mean the bin should be located at the roadside edge of the

The authority is therefore enquiring whether any other member
authorities have similar problems and how they have addressed
them, including any policies they have introduced.


RSC0867 - School waste recycling - 26.06.17

A member authority would be grateful for any information on school
recycling and containment (bins/sizes) supplied by other local
councils to assist in the collection of the material produced by


RSC0866 - Using compostable bags - 16.06.17

A member authority is currently looking at the use of compostable
bags, and is looking to gather information from local authorities on
the following issues:

  • Do you provide free compostable bags to residents for the collection of food waste?

If yes, please can you answer the following:

  1. Do you limit the number of bags you provide free of charge?
  • If yes, how many do you provide per year?
  • If no, how do residents order more compostable bags?
  1. How do you deliver the compostable bags? E.g. do the collection crews deliver them, bin delivery team etc.
  2. How often do you deliver - once a year, as and when resident needs more etc.?
  3. Have you made any changes to your processes for ordering compostable bags over the last few years? If yes, what process did you use before you changed? Has it had an impact on number of
  4. requests, tonnage collected etc.
  5. Does your food waste go to an IVC for composting?
  6. If yes, what specification of compostable bags do you provide? What is your experience of using these?


RSC0865 - Schedules for night sweeping - 16.06.17

A member authority is enquiring as to whether any local authorities
have a schedule for night sweeping?

  • Is this on a weekly basis or just when required?
  • What hours are worked?
  • What road types are covered
  • Is the driver alone or in a crew?
  • Do they work only within Traffic management areas?
  • Who do they report to throughout their shift?
  • Where do they tip or is the waste left on the vehicle?


RSC0864 - Publishing Commercial Waste Charges -20.16.17

This member authority would like to know whether other APSE
member authorities publish charges for commercial waste on the
Council website.

Do you publish your charges for commercial waste? If not, is this to
avoid competitors using this information for commercial advantage?


RSC0862 - Additional residual bin charges -12.06.17

A member authority allows some households with large families to
have the use of an additional bin for their residual waste. Currently
the resident is charged a one of cost for the provision of the bin.
The bin is provided for the time period that the household meets the
large family criteria.

They are currently considering whether a yearly charge could be
introduced for the provision of the bin and wondered whether any
other local authority had considered this option rather than a one off



RSC0861 - Route optimisation software - 12.06.17

A member authority is interested in hearing from other local
authorities that either currently, or have previously used route
optimisation / scheduling software for their Street Cleansing Service.
In particular:

  • what the name of the software was,
  • type of in-cab device or hand-held used.
  • what teams it was used for.
  • any comments on the success of any system

They are also interested in hearing from local authorities that
either currently, or have previously used route optimisation /
scheduling software for their Grounds Maintenance Service, again:

  • what the name of the software was,
  • type of in-cab device or hand-held used.
  • any comments on the success of any system

A final request is to state if the grounds maintenance and street
cleansing worked together as one team or separately and whether
this affected the choice of route optimisation software chosen.


RSC0860 - Waste disposal of Leaf litter & Street Sweepings - 07.06.17

A member authority collects street sweepings in rural areas which
mostly consist of leaf litter, unfortunately Environment Agency
regulations restrict the composting of this type of waste.

They are interested to discover how other local authorities
treat/dispose this type of waste, in particular has anyone found if
there are alternatives to Landfill or Energy from Waste?

Do any local authorities manage this type of waste themselves?


RSC0859 - Reducing speed limits to facilitate safer litter picking operations - 07.06.17

A member authority is enquiring whether there are any APSE
members who are willing to share their risk assessments or safe
working practices for litter picking on roads above 30 MPH.
More specifically they wish to know if any other APSE members
have introduced reduced speed limits to 30 MPH on 50 MPH and
60 MPH roads to facilitate safer litter picking operations?


RSC0858 - Instant Bulk Collection service - 22.05.17

A member authority is considering providing an Instant Bulk
Collection service, delivered through door-knocking, asking
residents if they would like the Council to take away the bulky waste
in front of their properties, there and then for a small fee.
They would be interested to test this idea among the APSE
membership and would be grateful for any feedback you could offer
on the following:
Do you provide an Instant Bulky Collection service along these
If not, and you have considered it beforehand, why did you decide
not to proceed?
If yes, under what circumstances do you pro-actively offer this
service and for what fee?


RSC0857 - Refuse left overnight on vehicles - 05.05.17

A member authority is keen to learn how colleagues deal with the
issue of waste left on refuse collection vehicles overnight and/or
over the weekends.

Do collection rounds leave waste on the vehicle?

  • If so, how is it managed/authorised?
  • Is it a regular (daily) occurrence?


RSC0857 - Out of Hours Hazardous waste collections -22.05.17

A member authority would like to ask any other APSE member
authority if they would be able to offer advice/assistance in relation
to out of hours Hazardous Waste collections, in particular:

  • Current SLAs
  • Who the service is with and what information is required from the contractor regarding risk assessments, carriers licences, site licences etc.
  • Pricing structures
  • Call out frequencies

If possible, the member authority would like a contact number to be
able to discuss these issues further.


RSC0856 - Charging for garden waste collections - 05.05.17

A member authority is enquiring whether any local authorities which
previously offered a free garden waste collection service then
introduced/ re-introduced a charge, then in terms of number of
households, as a percentage, how many retained the service after
the charge was put in place and what was the level of charge?
They are also interested to know if an authority which increased the
price of its garden waste collection services, saw a reduction on
subscription levels? i.e. has there been a net reduction in
subscribers and if so by how many (as a percentage)? Also what
was the level of increase?


RSC0855 - Risk assessment for herbicide spraying on quad bikes - 18.04.17

A member authority is enquiring whether other local authorities
would be willing to share examples of completed risk assessments
for quad bikes used to spray herbicides on highways and parks and
open spaces.


RSC0854 - Unauthorised domestic bins - 18.04.17

A member authority has numerous properties within the borough
that have “acquired” a second refuse bin. They are enquiring how
other authorities deal with households with unauthorised second or
more refuse bins.
The authority tries to remove additional bins when they are
recorded, however they do have households that regularly “acquire”
another refuse bin immediately afterwards.
Do any authorities have policies or enforcement that enable these
households which regularly have unauthorised bins to be penalised.


RSC0853 - Correct Disposal of Chewing Gum - 18.04.17

A member authority would like to know if any other authorities have
run any initiatives around the correct disposal of chewing gum, and
if so, would they be willing to share their ideas, campaign material
(posters/leaflets) and results?


RSC0852 - Lone patrols for dog fouling/litter enforcement - 12.04.17

A member authority is investigating the possibility of introducing
lone patrols for litter/dog fouling enforcement.
The members authority’s view is that with reduced staff resources,
this method optimises coverage and allows ad hoc enforcement for
a non- enforcement dedicated team.
They would like to know if any other councils do this and what
measures they have in place to reduce any risk or if anyone has any
strong reasons against it.


RSC0851 - Recycle on the Go Schemes - 12.04.17

A member authority is currently assessing its ‘Recycle on the Go’
schemes and is interested in finding out other local authorities
approach to this type of scheme.
In particular they are interested in finding the following information:

  1. What apertures are you currently using on recycling litter bins within your town/city?
  2. What is the recycling rate for on street recycling litter bins within your town/city?
  3. What is the contamination rate for on street recycling litter bins within your town/city?
  4. What methods do you find effective to limit contamination within on street recycling litter bins within your town/city?


RSC0849 - Review of Household Waste Recycling Centres - 24.03.17

This local authority is currently looking to review their Household
Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Charter and would be interested
to hear from any other member authorities who have recently just
reviewed or altered theirs.

Any comment, guidance or advice gathered would be greatly appreciated.


RSC0847 - Changing waste collection systems - 20.03.17

A member authority currently operates an alternate weekly
collection of residual waste in a 240 litre wheeled bin collected one
week and the following week, collects a mixed dry recyclables
(paper, card, plastics, cans, tetra paks) in a 240 litre wheeled bin
and comingled organic food & garden waste also via a 240 litre bin.
(About 14,000 of the 56,500 households have dry recyclables
collected weekly by a box collection system)
They are interested to gather information from local authorities, with
a view to a possible study visit, who have previously operated a
similar collection system but who have subsequently implemented
changes as outlined below:

  1. Reduced frequency to a three or four weekly residual waste collections or to a fortnightly collections via a reduced sized bin (240 litre to 180 litre)
  2. Moved from comingled fortnightly collection of mixed dry recyclables to weekly source segregated collection of dry recyclables via ‘triple stack’ boxes.

Whilst implementing these changes did any of the following issues arise?

  1. Local politicians and householders raising concerns, and if so, how these concerns were addressed?
  2. How were operational issue such as collecting triple stacks from HMO’s/apartments, bin heads and rural settings overcome?
  3. Where there any issues associated with anti-social behaviour in more deprived areas etc. associated with the triple stacks as compared to standard wheeled bin collections?

Could responding authorities please provide information on the
timeframes for implementing scheme changes and if these changes
brought the increases in recycling and decreases in landfill that the
authority may have anticipated.

The authority would also be interested in how those councils who
have made such changes now collect food/garden waste.

The enquiring authority’s main focus at this point is that by reducing
residual capacity, and changing from comingled to kerbside sort dry
recyclable collections, then they hope to be able to facilitate the
inclusion of glass as a separate collection and maximise food waste
yields collected in the comingled organics collection.


RSC0846 - Parked cars obstructing RC vehicles - 20.03.17

A member authority is experiencing increasing problems accessing
narrow streets with waste collection RCVs due to parked vehicles.
They are re-examining their waste collection processes and
customer communications as a result.
They are therefore interested to hear from other APSE member
local authorities who have successfully communicated with
residents who persistently park cars causing an obstruction.


RSC0844 - Waste Issues - 09.03.17


A member authority is currently addressing a number of waste
issues in their authority and are looking for information on the
Has any Authority resolved contamination issues within their
recycling, specifically for those who collect with wheel bins,

  • the process they have used to reduce contamination,
  • the contamination they experienced before and after, and
  • how much these actions cost/s

Has any Authority experience of letting franchises for the recovery
of reusable materials from CA Sites, if so

  • what materials are they allowed to take,
  • estimated tonnages of materials diverted from landfill each year
  • how it works in practice and
  • how much they charge per site.

Any authority that has a system for controlling the use of their sites
to ensure they can only be used by residents of their borough.
Could they explain:

  • what system they use,
  • how much does it cost to operate and
  • what sort of tonnages they were collecting before and after the introduction of the restriction.


RSC0843 - Reviewing recycling sites -28.02.17

A member authority is enquiring whether any local authority has
reviewed Mini Recycling Centres/ Recycling Bring Banks recently? If
so, what was discovered? And did this require any actions to be
They are also enquiring as to whether any local authority has
removed any Mini Recycling Centres/ Recycling Bring Banks
recently? If so, why? And what were the positive and/or negative
results of this?


RSC0842 - Decriminalised fixed penalty notices Section 46 EPA - 16.02.17

A member authority has adopted new decriminalised legislation in
relation to Section (46) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990
(EPA), which gives Local Authorities the power to issue legal
notices known as a Section 46 Notices. These notices require the
occupier of a property to take certain measures with regard to their
household waste.
Because The Deregulation Act 2015, removed the prospect of
criminal sanctions applying to householders who present their waste
for collection incorrectly, and now replaces these with Civil
sanctions, these new amendments introduce a form of fixed
monetary penalty set at a lower level, more proportionate with other
decriminalised offences such as those for parking violations.
The authority is currently in the process of setting up the fixed
penalty appeals procedure which would involve listing information
on how a resident could apply to the adjudicator as part of the first
tier tribunal.
They are therefore enquiring if any Authorities are enforcing this
legislation, and whether it would be possible for this authority to
obtain a specimen of the fixed penalty notice they are using under
the new Civil process.


RSC0841 - Abandoned vehicle removal policies - 16.02.17

This authority currently has a local arrangement with a company for
removal of abandoned cars. The cars are removed from council
land and disposed of at no cost to the council, this arrangement has
been in place for a number of years. However the removal company
now wish the council to reconsider the arrangement based on the
reduction in scrap metal prices, they are suggesting the following

  • Fee per vehicle removed
  • Provide secure site for the vehicles to be stored
  • Financially contribute to their existing storage unit.

This authority would like to know what arrangements are in place for
abandoned cars concerning the following:

  • Collection
  • Storage
  • Disposal


RSC0840 - Refuse collection service details - 06.02.17

A member authority is currently reviewing their refuse collection
service and are enquiring whether any local authorities would be
willing to supply the following information:

  1. How many “contracted hours” do your refuse collectors work each week? e.g. 37hrs, 40hrs, 42.5hrs etc?
  2. Pay for Refuse Drivers £x - £x?
  3. Pay for Refuse Loaders £x - £x?
  4. Do you work to a task and finish agreement, if so would you be prepared to share a copy of such an agreement?
  5. Do you use any in-cab systems like Bartec, if so what are they?


RSC0839 - WDF Waste Weight Type Conversions - 06.02.17

A member authority is aware that fly-tipping incidents are recorded
by size with no weight information. There are no official weight
figures for size categories in the WDF Fly-tipping module. However
they are aware that some authorities apply conversion factors.

They are therefore asking whether any authorities have applied
their own weight conversions to the headline size types in WDF?.
If so how did they arrive at the weights for each of the waste size
types below?

  • Single black bag
  • Single item
  • Car boot load or less
  • Small van load
  • Transit van load
  • Tipper lorry load
  • Multiple loads


RSC0838 - Recycling in Flats / High Rise buildings where Refuse Chutes are in operation - 29.03.17

This APSE member authority is exploring ways to implement
successful recycling in high rise flats where residents use chutes to
dispose of rubbish sacks.
They would be interested to learn if you have managed to
implement a recycling scheme and if so:-

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.




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