Cabinet to make crucial decision on future of waste and recycling collections in Cornwall

Households across Cornwall could be provided with a weekly recycling collection and caddies to recycle their food waste in 2020 under proposals to be considered by Cornwall Council's Cabinet next week.

Cabinet members will also vote on whether or not to move to fortnightly residual waste collections and provide households with wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks during the meeting on Tuesday 18 December.

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With Cornwall's kerbside waste and recycling contract with Biffa coming to an end in March 2020, the Cabinet decision will direct the next stage of the tender process currently underway.

Cabinet are being asked to decide between moving to a new system aimed at boosting recycling, or retaining the current collection arrangements.

The new system would switch recycling and residual collections so that recycling is collected weekly, with the addition of food waste.

Councillor Sue James, portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said the decision is an important one for Cornwall.

"Next Tuesday's decision is one that will affect all households across Cornwall," she said. "With the world focussed on the impact of waste on our environment, we have the opportunity to make a crucial decision about the way we manage waste in Cornwall that will affect generations to come.

“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and are incredibly proud of our environment. Many residents recycle but overall we could do more, and these changes will help facilitate that.

"A survey of black bag waste carried out last year showed that a third of the content was food waste. 

"If the Cabinet approves a proposed change, that food waste would be collected weekly in special containers provided by the Council, and all other recycling would also be collected weekly.  Other waste would be collected fortnightly.

“The Council would issue wheeled bins or seagull proof sacks to all households, putting an end to street litter generated by animals pulling apart bin bags on collection day.”

The recommendations to change the current waste contract have been considered by a special inquiry, led by the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny committee.

The Council has also sought advice from industry experts and other local authorities, as well as having carried out resident surveys, focus groups and assessed national guidance.

If the changes are supported, no changes will be made until the contract comes in to place in April 2020.

“If the changes are supported there is still a lot of work to be done before the changes come into effect in 2020. We will be working with communities across Cornwall and will come and talk to you about the changes, explain what needs to happen and when.

In the meantime, residents can help by recycling more and composting where appropriate,” Cllr James said.

Read the report to be considered by Cabinet on 18 December - you can also watch the webcast live from 10am that day using the link from the homepage of the Council's website