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2015 - January to July

RSC0690 - Including cost of waste bins in Section 106 agreements - 150715

This authority is looking into the possibility of including the cost of domestic waste bins issued to the owner of new homes within Section 106 agreements so that the cost is covered by the developer. 
They would be very interested to hear from others who have considered this previously or made progress with it.

RSC0689 - Impact of reducing working week - 140715

A member authority would like to know;

  1. Have any councils introduced a reduced working week to make financial savings e.g. 37 hour week to 35 hour week?
  2. How did this impact on front line services such as refuse collections, grounds maintenance, and street cleansing?
  3. Were customer service standards impacted upon and if so how were these managed?
  4. Were financial benefits realised?
  5. After implementation, did the authority reverse the decision and reinstate previous T&C’s?  If so why?

RSC0687 - 140 litre residual waste bins - 080715

A member authority is considering introducing 140 litre wheeled bins for the collection of residual waste and some concerns have been raised by collection crews. There is a feeling that the bins do not empty and you always have to send them up twice which will then impact on the time taken to empty the bins.  The member would be grateful for any response to the questions below from authorities that use 140 litre bins for the collection of residual waste:

  • How long have you used 140
  •   Have you had any problems with bins not emptying as the waste is too packed in?
  • What is the extent of the problem (if you have one) e.g. the odd bin/ 10%  of bins?
  • How many properties on average are on each 140 residual waste collection round each day?
  • Do you operate a 4 or 5 day working week?
  • Do you have a risk assessment for the emptying of 140 litre bins you would be willing to share?

RSC0686 - Market supplement refuse collection drivers - 060715

A member authority currently pays a salary range of £16,490 - £17,631 to drivers who are required to hold a LGV licence. One vacancy is currently unfilled due to a lack of suitable candidates applying when the post was advertised recently.

Consideration is being given to a market supplement to bring our salaries into line with the equivalent posts in neighbouring local authorities, although this will still be less than drivers can earn in other parts of the transport industry. A figure of £1,500 for a market supplement is being considered. 
They will also carry out a Job Evaluation exercise; this will take account of recent changes such as driver CPC and use of in-cab mobile communication technology.
The member would be interested to know whether other local authorities or their contractors have experienced difficulties in filling driver vacancies, and how they have dealt with the problem.

RSC0685 - Charging for replacement recycling containers - 060715

A member authority is querying whether introducing a charge to households for replacement recycling containers (boxes or bins) which have been lost, stolen or damaged has had a negative effect on recycling tonnages?

RSC0684 - Christmas waste collection arrangements - 250615

A member authority is enquiring whether local authority members have decided their catch-up timetable for Christmas and New Year Waste and Recycling collections and if so, would it be possible to view local authorities dates.
They are also keen to know what methods are being used to inform residents of the arrangements and is there any additional impact on resources/costs in this process.

RSC0683 - Standalone CCTV system (Fly-tipping)

This authority is considering the use of mobile ‘standalone’ covert CCTV systems in areas where we experience high volumes of fly tipping such as lanes and laybys.  We would like to hear from other authority’s that already carry out this operations.  We are particularly interested in;

  • The type, make and model and supplier of the equipment used and its reliability / quality of image
  • Any policies that are written around the use of such equipment and the use of footage in subsequent prosecutions
  • Examples of signage, if required, in the locations that the equipment is to be used in.

RSC0682 - In-cab technology - legal issues - 220615

A member authority is looking to install in-cab technology allowing interactive communications between the driver and office.

This enables the driver to report issues where bins are not presented or are overweight and receive instructions if re-routing required etc.

It requires a small touch screen in the cab and accessible to the driver
The Council is concerned about the legalities of using such a system (especially when the vehicle is travelling)  Have you such a system?

  • If so please outline its function and supplier?

 Did you seek legal advice prior to installing a similar system

  • If so please can you share a copy?

Do you have protocols for its use?

  • If so please can you share a copy?

RSC0681 - Volunteer litter-pickers - 080615

A member authority is interested to hear what other councils do about the safety of voluntary litter-picking groups. For a number of years they have encouraged volunteers to carry out work in their localities and supported such events by providing equipment and free disposal. However they are now being advised that volunteers should be treated the same as their own employees and undergo induction and ongoing training. This seems beyond what is reasonably practicable and the authority is keen to hear about other councils experiences.

RSC0680 - Sale of garden waste bins - 080615

A member is enquiring whether any local authority operates a garden waste collection scheme which sells the garden waste bin to the customer.

RSC0679 - Segregated litter bins - 050615

An APSE member will shortly be reviewing the way they carry out street cleaning services. As part of this review they are interested in gathering the following information about segregated litter bins:

  • How are segregated litter bins serviced, in terms of fleet, staffing need, and so on?
    1. Are litter bins typically lined with bags for easier collection, or tipped straight into the vehicle?
    2. Are litter bins serviced on dedicated vehicles, or emptied as part of wider waste collection routes?
  • How was the transition made from mixed residual waste bins to segregated litter bins?
  • What materials are typically targeted for recycling?
  • Has the use of segregated litter bins had a positive impact on recycling rates?
  • What are the contamination levels of segregated litter bins?
  • Has the change towards the collection of segregated litter had recognisable cost benefits - does the reduction in landfill costs from additional recycling outweigh the costs of installing and servicing segregated litter bins?

RSC0678 - Fly Mapper - 050615

A member authority is looking into different fly tipping data systems to gain more data and look at cross boundary information 

They wish to reduce both frequency and impact of fly tipping through effective removal strategies, enforcement and education initiatives.

As part of their work they have been looking at the Fly Mapper system  and are keen to know of any other authorities who have either trialled this or used the system on a regular basis, 
or, if there is any other data collection systems in use that have been successful 

They are interested in tools which can help combat the continuing problem of fly tipping through the provision of useful intelligent information via GIS and data long which also has an effective reporting system.

RSC0676 - 4 day refuse collection service - 030615

A member authority is considering changing to a 4 day week to avoid bank holiday push backs working double shifts to maximise the use of each vehicle.

They are looking for information from those authorities which operate a 4 day double (or triple) shift collection service?

Ideally they would like to know the operational practicalities and policy decisions which allowed this change of service delivery.

RSC0675 - Alternative fuel vehicles - 020615

A member authority is assessing the options for alternate fuels for new Refuse & Recycling Vehicles. Do you currently use alternate fuel vehicles?

  • How effective are they?

Have you trialled vehicles in the past and chosen not to progress?

  • What were the drawbacks?

Have you conducted an options appraisal

  • Are you able to share the findings?

RSC0673 - Re-introducing recycling sites - 260515

A member authority wishes to know whether  any local authorities have  reintroduced neighbourhood recycling sites for glass having previously removed them following the introduction kerbside collections.

What was the impact on recycling?

  • Was the reintroduction justified against cost and improved recycling particularly in relation to glass and the requirement to provide separate colour collections under TEEP.
  •  Did there prove to be a need for the service; 
  • What receptacles were used and frequency level of collection.

RSC0672 - Drug-related waste affecting recycling - 120615

A member local authority currently offers a co-mingled service.  Recently it have seen an increase in the number of sharps needles, predominantly drug users,  being found in the recycling round.  As a result the MRF facility has rejected a number of  loads from a particular area. 
Has any other local authority experienced this issue, if so,  what work was carried out to satisfy the MRF facility that  the Local Authority had carried out as much work with the community as possible to eliminate it happening again.

RSC0671 - Refuse collection vehicle with pod - 180515

One of our member authorities is using a 18,000kg single chamber refuse collection vehicle with twin bin lifts for hard to reach areas. They are looking to purchase the same size vehicle but with a 1000kg food pod also attached at the rear of the cab.

They wish to know if any other  Authority is using this type of vehicle  and would be willing to supply any information which would ultimately help them to purchase the right vehicle for the purpose intended.

RSC0670 - Reducing sizes of residual waste bins - 120515

One of our member authorities is researching into the effects of reducing residual bin size on increasing recycling tonnages. 

They are interested to find data on authorities which operate a 140 litre residual bin fortnightly collection frequency and whether the move to a smaller bin has resulted in increased collections of recyclable materials and if so, which materials have seen the greatest increase.

RSC0669a - Recycling of street cleansing waste - 120515

A member authority currently diverts their street cleansing waste from landfill and recycle the waste collected. It is their understanding that street cleansing waste cannot be counted towards recycling rates (WDF does not allow street cleansing waste to be counted).  

They are interested to know what other authorities do in relation to recycling street cleansing waste, and whether they include street cleansing waste in their reported household recycling returns.

RSC0669 - Moving from separate street cleansing and grounds services to a combined service - 070515

This authority would like to know how were issues such as training and differing salary bands overcome when moving from a separate to a combined Street Cleansing and Grounds service? Any other do's and don’ts of implementation would also be appreciated. What results did this bring to your service? Details of any other initiatives to increase efficiency would be most welcome.

RSC0668 - Street Cleansing Productivity - 070515

This authority would like to ask if any others have any new / innovative solutions for monitoring the productivity of street cleaning personnel? ie, GPS tracking. If so, are they able to provide any information on the implementation and results of this initiative? Details of any other initiatives to increase productivity would be most welcome.

RSC0667 - Wheeled bins replacing sacks in alleyways - 300415

A member authority is enquiring if any local authority has introduced a wheeled bin service to replace sack collections in ten foots/back lanes/ginnels/etc. What issues were experienced, for example:

  • does anyone expect residents without side access to wheel bins through their houses, 
  • are there issues with bins blocking pavements for properties without front gardens, 
  • did issuing wheeled bins resolve problems such as fly-tipping and early presentation in rear alleyways,

Do local authorities feel there are any other relevant points or innovative solutions worthy of note?

RSC0666 - Use of Pod Refuse Vehicles - 300415

This authority is interested in operational issues about Pod Refuse Vehicles and how others have addressed them. Specifically they would like to know:-

  • As the Pod is located on the passenger side, have staff raised issues regarding servicing caddies when performing a double sided collection, which they have to load into the pannier which will now be positioned exposing the staff to potential vehicle collision rather than next to the verge when performing single sided collections?  
  • Whether others have experienced difficulty accessing the pannier with the caddy due of limit space in rural areas (e.g. narrow roads, drains along the roadside, uneven surfaces, etc)
  • Do you consider Pod Refuse Vehicles are just as appropriate for rural collections as they are for urban collections?
  • Whether others are using these vehicles for separate food waste collections? If so are these in urban or rural areas? What problems have been experienced?
  • Whether others have experienced significant extensions to the work load for staff operating this service (i.e. as a result of  the service performed in conjunction with the MDR service, food in POD and MDR in rear) and if so how have the authority addressed this issue? 
  • Has the limited capacity in the rear of the vehicle caused more collection trips  per week needing to be made to cope with the residual collection weekly round?

RSC0664 - Recycling communications programme - 230415

One of our members is having problems with flats and their lack of participation in recycling. They are looking for information relating to encouraging   residents, particularly in flats and social housing to recycle. Equally they would be interested in any general messages used to reduce excess waste and fly-tipping, Finally the member organisation is looking for good examples of communication programmes which have engaged communities in addressing the above issues.

RSC0662 - Retro fitted gravity locks - 200315

A member authority wants to know if any authorities have experience of emptying residential 240 bins with retro fitted gravity locks?  Do the locks weaken the bin? Have any accidents happened as a result of the locks not opening when tipped?


RSC0661 - Alternative operating models for waste management (Mix of dry recyclate) - 090415

This local authority would be interested to receive information from colleagues in terms of: 
the mix that other Councils have gone for and the size of containers used either due to volumes of materials or a specific policy on bin size.
(e.g. This Council is considering going to a two stream approach over a three week cycle: 

Bin 1 – plastics, glass and metals OR remove plastics and put in second bin. 
Bin 2 – paper and card. 
Bin 3 – Residual. Plus weekly food and fortnightly garden)

What plastics are part of the plastic mix (only high grade such as drinks bottles and milk bottles, or are you accepting all plastics such as yoghurt pots, butter tubs, etc)?

Did you previously collect all plastics and reduce the items, if so could you provide details as to why?

RSC0660 - Different models for waste management services - 090415

This member authority is seeking information from councils on differing models for waste management services. Specifically they would like to hear from any local authority who has created an ALEO/Trust or Social Enterprises that now operate various activities (either wholly or parts thereof) associated with waste management collections (e.g. Civic Amenity sites, recycling, bulky, commercial and residual waste)?

RSC0659 - Wheeled bin service review - 050315

This member authority is currently reviewing daily wheelie bin collection rates for refuse collection.  

The authority is therefore seeking information on daily wheelie bin collection rates / working hours from other authorities and would like to know:

The duration of the working day
The average number of bin lifts achieved 

If you are able to provide details about the daily wheelie bin collection rates achieved this would be of great assistance.


RSC0658 - Aggressive behaviour towards refuse collectors

This member authority would like to find out from other local authority APSE members:

  • How do local authorities  deal with areas where anti-social behaviour towards refuse collection operatives  is a problem?
  • How do Local authorities ensure the safety of their waste collection crews when carrying out waste collection in such areas (e.g. training). 
  • What procedures do members have  for dealing with violent / aggressive customers who visit their offices.
  • Do any members install panic buttons in reception areas, and if so, what is the procedure for using these?

RSC0657 - Electronic system for logging out grounds maintenance machinery

This  APSE member authority has an issue with having to log out on a daily basis, individual pieces of grounds maintenance machinery such as pedestrian mowers, strimmers, hedge trimmers and chainsaws and then record there return at the end of the working day. This is an internal audit procedure requirement, and a such has to be adhered to , but is extremely time consuming as they have over 300 pieces of such machinery.
They are therefore wishing to find out if any other local authorities have an electronic system which would allow their task to be made easier.

RSC0656 - Cut-off response time for reported missed bin collections - 100215

This APSE member authority is asking for responses from other members regarding:

  • How long after the collection day do they agree to empty a missed bin following a call from a resident? 
  • How did they decide what would be the set cut off point? 
  • What are residents advised to do if they call in after this cut off point?

RSC0655 - Single wheeled bin collections (one bin at a time) - 040215

  1. Whether there are any councils that operate a wheelie bin collections service (240 litre and/or 140 litre) where, by staff collect only ever one bin at a time from the kerbside, present to the vehicle and return back to the place of collection?
  2. If so when was this level of service introduced and on what basis was it introduced?
  3. What were the associated costs to the service if this was implemented?
  4. What are the daily performance targets per crew (how many properties per team per day) 

RSC0654 - Bulky household waste collections - 300115

This member is enquiring about how local authorities manage their bulky household waste collection services, in particular: 

  • Do you collect bulky household waste?
  • Does the Council undertake this provision? 
  • Are you intending to charge your bulky household waste collection service?
  • When providing this service:
    - what can be collected 
    - how much is charged per item
  • any restrictions around type or volume of waste collection or number of collections available to households

RSC0653 - Commercialisation of pest control services - 300115

This APSE member would be interested in receiving information from other local authorities who have attempted to increase the resilience and scope of their Pest Control teams by joining up with other authorities through either a shared service or trading company arrangement. They are particularly keen to understand how they commercialised and/or diversified their service and thereby increased income or reduced costs.

RSC0652 - Improving the quality of sports pitches - 300115

This APSE member is requesting information from other local authorities in relation to techniques which have been used to improve the quality of local authority sports pitches. Any information which could be provided would be gratefully accepted.

RSC0650 - Chemical weed procedures - 290115

This APSE member authority is asking for responses from other members regarding what kind of weed control procedure other authorities have. They would be particularly interested in finding out the following:

  • Does your authority undertake a chemical weed control programme to treat highway kerb channels?
  • How many applications/treatments per annum are carried out?
  • Are the works carried out "in-house" or sub contracted?
  • What is your approximate annual spend on weed control?
  • If you do not undertake a chemical weed control programme what else do you use (if anything) to control weed growth?

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association 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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