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The waste collection, recycling and street cleansing service provided by Torridge DC is good but has uncertain pros...
The waste collection, recycling and street cleansing service provided by Torridge DC is good but has uncertain prospects for improvement, according to an independent report by the Audit Commission.

An inspection team gave the service two stars.

Waste collection, recycling and street cleaning services are set within the council's environmental services and operated by the planning and technical services department. All the services are currently delivered through three contracts. One member of staff is employed to monitor these contracts.

Peter Wylie, regional director, Southern Region Best Value Inspection Service, said:

'A good service is being provided for local people, particularly on refuse collection, which, for many residents, is a key council service. Torridge now needs to work at removing future uncertainty about the service. We've made a series of recommendations to help the council deliver improvements. If these are taken on board and implemented we would expect to see positive changes to the service.'

The inspection report highlights a number of key strengths:

- The household refuse collection service has high customer satisfaction (70-90 percent)

- Street cleaning also has high customer satisfaction rates and streets were generally clean

- Trade waste is collected efficiently and the tonnage collected has increased recently

However, inspectors also found weaknesses:

- Although efforts have been made to improve the provision of bins for dog waste, our observations found significant amounts of dog fouling

- The service does not consult well with the public, local businesses or interest groups

- Rates for recycling have not increased significantly in the past four years

To help the service improve inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:

- Provide a service that meets the needs of customers through improving information to, and feedback from, the public and links with partners

- Make it easier for customers to recycle materials.

- Provide cleaner streets through partnership arrangements

- Ensure service aims better reflect user views

The review covered a wide range of services to the public, these varied in their size and quality of delivery. They were rated as follows:

Household refuse collection - good

Street cleaning - good

Fly-tipping and removal of abandoned cars - good

Beach cleaning - good

Trade waste collection - fair

Recycling - fair

Dog fouling - fair

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