sponsored by Repic
Bath & North East Somerset Council
Neighbourhood environmental services team
The council set up and delivered a programme to encourage more recycling and less street litter while saving money. It increased education and enforcement to meet both financial and environmental objectives. The deliverables included the insourcing of the recycling contract, the procurement of an entirely new vehicle fleet, routes planned with driver input, incredible volumes of raw materials for recycling, innovative ways to tackle the gull problem and retain flexibility to enhance customer service. The council also performed well while tackling last year’s Beast from the East and heatwave.
Boston’s Big Clean Up
Rubbish, in all its various guises, is always going to be around. With shrinking budgets, councils must be ever more inventive in encouraging residents to do the right thing. Boston BC has adopted a multi-pronged approach. Working both with the local population and newcomers from all over eastern Europe to improve community involvement has seen real results. The council also entered into a contract with private enforcement group, has a no-fee arrangement with solicitors to prosecute offenders who fail to pay their fixed penalties, and uses a team of trusted prisoners close to their final release dates to clear away illegally dumped rubbish.
An innovative ecological approach to highway verge management
The maintenance of highway verges is an important but costly undertaking for local authorities. Maintenance is necessary for both safety and aesthetic reasons. With the squeeze on public finance, councils have much less money to satisfy the demand. Dorset CC has taken an innovative ecological approach to managing its verges, reducing soil fertility through the collection of grass cuttings. It is also introducing species of flowering plants that restrict grass growth and ensuring low nutrient soils are used in road construction. The result is slow growing, beautiful wildflower verges that attract and sustain pollinating insects. It is also saving money as the verges require less cutting.
East Renfrewshire Council
East Renfrewshire Council has consistently achieved high recycling performance within the top five councils in Scotland. However, many residents were unhappy with the receptacles used, namely boxes and bags. In 2014, an online petition asking for wheeled bins received more than 1,000 signatures, and in 2015 a Facebook page, Get East Ren Wheelie Bins, attracted more than 2,600 likes. The waste team redesigned the service to be cost-effective, efficient and fit for purpose. This included delivery of 65,000 bins, waste and recycling collections every three weeks, new policies, a complete re-routing project and a communications campaign that engaged with more than 20,000 people. Since implementation, the amount of recycling collected has increased, boosting East Renfrewshire Council’s recycling percentage from 56.4% in 2015 to 60.8% in 2016 and 67.1% in 2017, the highest recycling rates ever reported in Scotland.
Kent CC with Bouygues Energies & Services
LED street lighting conversion project
Working with Bouygues Energies & Services, Kent CC is converting all its 120,000 streetlights to LED luminaires. This project saves £6m per year in energy, cuts maintenance costs and reduces carbon emissions by a minimum of 16,000 tonnes. Residents feel safer and benefit from improved all-night lighting, less light pollution and a better street environment. Due to Bouygues guaranteeing the energy savings, the council is secure in its business case and confident that this investment will continue to deliver savings for many years to come.
North West Leicestershire DC
The BIG Bring Site Clean Up
North West Leicestershire DC is responsible for 37 bring sites across the district. These sites enable residents to recycle materials such as cardboard, paper and glass. Additional receptacles are supplied by a charity to let them accept donations of textiles and shoes 24 hours a day. Concerns were raised when one council site had 13 enforcement cases opened in the first quarter of 2017, resulting in fixed penalty notices being issued. A campaign was launched to raise awareness, using social media and roadshows, in the hope of reducing the misuse of the site.
North Yorkshire CC and City of York Council with Amey
Allerton Waste Recovery Park
A partnership approach between North Yorkshire CC, City of York Council and Amey led to the opening in 2018 of the UK’s first waste treatment facility incorporating three innovative technologies on one site. Allerton Waste Recovery Park aims to provide the authorities with long-term waste disposal cost certainty, reduce landfill, increase recycling and engage the community. In its first six months of operation, measurable outcomes included 90% of black sack waste diverted from landfill, recyclable materials extracted before waste is used to create energy, 396 community visitors touring the facility and £588,000 provided to community projects via a dedicated fund.
Tower Hamlets LBC
Love Your Neighbourhood
The Love Your Neighbourhood campaign aimed to encourage civic pride and empower the borough’s residents to improve where they live. The council wanted to increase its work with local organisations and the public to tackle littering through its Big Clean Ups and to educate children about recycling and encourage them to take messages home. The mayor’s Neighbourhood Refresh sought to engage more than 500 local people in six neighbourhoods through community walks and online communications, identifying what needs to be improved. The council worked closely with more than 3,000 residents and partners using a range of media and channels to communicate, publicise and celebrate activity.
A word from the award’s sponor
REPIC, the UK’s largest waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) compliance scheme, is proud to sponsor this year’s LGC Environmental Services award. Waste and recycling are among the most valued services any council provides, so it is great to see such positive initiatives and results from local authorities across the country.
REPIC funds the collection, transport, and treatment of around half of all separately collected household WEEE each year in the UK. Working with our local authority partners, we are making great strides in improving collection efficiencies, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting WEEE.
Helen Briggs, chief executive, Rutland CC
Wayne Copley, procurement director, REPIC
Philip Simpkins, chief executive, Bedford BC