To receive an update from Matt Smyth, Director Joint Waste Solutions, on the implementation of the joint waste contract in Surrey Heath over the past year.
Matt Smyth, Director, Joint Waste Solutions (JWS), gave a presentation on the work that had taken place to implement the joint waste contract in Surrey Heath. The presentation included an overview of the history and key features of the contract, key performance data and a summary of key development and improvement areas.
The Committee was informed that work to develop the joint waste contract had started in May 2013 and Surrey Heath Borough Council, Elmbridge Borough Council, Woking Borough Council and Mole Valley District Council had signed a ten-year contract with Amey in May 2017. The contract had been developed to be a co-operative partnership contract, which other local authorities could join at any time.
It was acknowledged that although the number of missed bin collections being reported had reduced the number of missed residual waste and food waste collections was still too high. Furthermore, IT issues had caused problems in the run up to the launch of the new garden waste collections and this had affected the number of residents electing to take up the service. Priority areas for improvement included the number of missed food waste collections, repeat missed collections, the length of time that it took to rectify a missed collection, improvements to ICT systems and working with Amey’s contact centre to improve the levels of customer service received by residents.
Arising from Members’ questions and comments the following points were noted:
· A significant amount of work had taken place to ensure that all the data held by Amey was correct and an independent third party was nearing the end of a review of all the data held to verify its accuracy going forward.
· The missed bin collection target was no more than 80 per 100,000.
· Food waste was now collected separately from the main residual waste and recycling collections and JWS was working with Amey to resolve the operational issues that meant food waste caddies were being missed for example residual waste bins were being replaced in such a way that they obscured the food caddy from view.
· The design of the vehicles used for clothing and small electricals collections meant that the load area was smaller. Although the number of reported missed clothing and small electrical collections was relatively small it was thought that rather than reporting the missed collection residents were just taking the items back. It was requested that members encourage residents to lodge a complaint when this occurred so that an accurate picture of the scale of the problem could be obtained.
· It was confirmed that municipal waste collections started at 6am however commercial waste operators could start work earlier. Complaints about noise from commercial operators should be registered with the Council as a noise complaint.
· It was agreed that reports that bins were being left obstructing footpaths and driveways after they had been emptied would be investigated.
· Rushmoor Borough Council had expressed an interest in joining the contract before the procurement process had started however it had proved logistically too difficult to incorporate only part of Hampshire County Council as the waste disposal authority into the contract.
· Staff recruitment and retention was key to providing a good service.
· The benefits of joining the contract was actively marketed to other Surrey authorities and Surrey County Council had transferred a number of its waste functions into JWS.
· The vehicle In Cab technology could be used to record real time data on whether bins were being presented for collection however, the technology was not always being used and JWS was working with Amey to improve this.
It was requested that Members send any complaints about repeated missed collections to email@example.com. It was agreed that the concerns raised by the Committee would be raised with the Amey Account manager.
The Committee acknowledged that mobilising the contract had been a significant piece of work and the hard work of officers to improve the service should be recognised.
The Committee thanked Matt Smyth for his update.