Dorset Waste Services

Published: 28 April 2020

Rolling towns' Improvement project (Dorset Council Waste Services)

Dorset Council Waste Services over the last 18 months have been running a ‘rolling towns’ improvement project, which started in the East of the county.

The aim of the campaign is to boost recycling capture and promote ‘waste prevention’.

Dorset is one of the best performing local authorities county-wide, with a current recycling rate at almost 60%, but statistics show that recycling rates are now starting to drop nationwide.

They are now planning to target West Dorset towns and larger villages with recycling messages, initially focussing on food waste e.g. advertising, banners, posters, events, etc. 

Their educational campaign will be designed to improve the quality of recycling collected and remove even more food waste from the rubbish bin. 

Food waste still takes up one fifth of Dorset’s rubbish bins, by weight, even though they offer a weekly food waste recycling collection!

They have looked closely at several chosen towns/villages, in West Dorset, to establish the best local methods for our communications.  Subsequently a request has been made to STC to see if we will be happy to support them with this campaign by allowing them to share posters on our noticeboards and website.

The project is only at the planning stages and the Council recognise the difficulties given the current circumstances.

Helping Dorset Council tackle fly-tipping during the pandemic

With household recycling centres (HRCs) currently closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dorset Council is asking people to help them in the fight against fly-tipping.

Trips to a household recycling centre are not listed under central government reasons for essential travel, so we have had to temporarily close them. Opening them for any amount of time would contravene public health advice that we, as the local authority, are obligated to comply with.

We are requesting that any waste that would usually need to be taken to an HRC should just be kept to one side until they reopen. However, there will unfortunately always be a handful of selfish and anti-social individuals who will fly-tip waste and use the HRC closures to justify their illegal behaviour, even during this unprecedented crisis.

Early fly-tipping figures from late March and early April have not shown a significant year-on-year increase, but officers are hesitant to read too much into this data as reporting is likely to be impacted by fewer people travelling around the county and spotting fly-tips as they isolate at home.

To help us fight against fly-tipping, the waste service’s Enforcement Team – who are continuing to operate at this time – have asked for residents to note the following: –

Report it – If you spot a fly-tip, don’t assume we know about it. Fly-tips can be reported to the Council online and by phone. We will investigate all reported incidents and, where there is enough evidence, attempt to trace and prosecute those responsible

Make sure you’re covered – Rubbish you’ve handed to someone else is still your legal responsibility until it is correctly disposed of. If someone – such as an unlicensed ‘man in a van’ found on social media – were to fly-tip that waste, you could end up paying a fine or being taken to court.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, punishable of fines of up to £50,000- or 12-months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrate’s Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.

Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said:

“Now more than ever, we need people to keep us informed when they spot fly-tips. We want residents to help us by keeping their waste to one side until things get back to normal, and to check who they’re handing their waste to.

We know the temporary closure of household recycling centres is likely to cause a rise in fly-tipping, so we’re keeping a close eye on the situation, reviewing central government guidance and planning every day so we can re-open the HRCs at the earliest opportunity.

But there are no excuses for fly-tipping. It’s unsightly and damaging to the environment. We all have a part to play in stopping this anti-social behaviour and by working together I know we can make a positive impact.

It’s also worth noting that Dorset Police are still out on the roads at this time checking where people are travelling to and may have some questions if they look in a vehicle and find waste that would typically be dropped at an HRC.”

Dorset residents can find out more by visiting the Tip Off webpage. Fly-tipping incidents can be reported online or by calling 01305 221040.

Garden waste kerbside collections to resume shortly (Dorset Council)

Garden Waste customers have reason to be pleased as Dorset Council will be resuming its garden waste kerbside collections from Monday 27 April.

To ensure that regular food waste, rubbish, recycling and glass collections continue with minimal disruption, the Garden Waste service was suspended shortly after Public Health England coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance was introduced. This was done to free up garden waste crews so they can cover anticipated absence in other kerbside collection services.

As household recycling centres remain closed, most residents have been highly supportive of the measures introduced around garden waste to ease pressure on front-line services, either by encouraging home-composting or keeping their garden waste to one side until the tips re-open.

Employee absence has stabilised across the workforce, waste services have been reprioritised and workers in other Dorset Council teams have been trained to support kerbside collections if necessary.

This means Garden Waste collection crews can now return to deliver the subscription service, with most customers only experiencing two missed fortnightly collections.

Points to note: –

From 27 April, Garden Waste customers should resume putting their bin out on their usual collection day

·           We will only collect from garden waste bins that are not overfilled. We will not collect extra garden waste in boxes or bags next to bins. If you have any excess waste, please save it for another collection day

·           Like all other kerbside collections, we will not return to empty missed garden waste bins at this time

·           Customers will be offered a discounted rate for their 2021/22 Garden Waste service subscription to compensate for the two missed collections and will be written to in due course

·           We are still not taking new subscriptions to the service. We will make an announcement when we are ready to accept new subscriptions

·           Any Garden Waste customers who cancelled their annual Direct Debit prior to payment being taken on 1 April 2020 are no longer active customers and won’t have their collections resumed. They will need to renew their service to receive any future collections.

Cllr Tony Alford, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services at Dorset Council, said: –

“We appreciate how much our customers value the Garden Waste service and we welcome this opportunity to resume kerbside collections, especially as the household recycling centres have to remain closed.

Non-Garden Waste subscribers should keep their garden waste to one side until household recycling centres re-open. We will continue to recommend home composting, but we advise against starting bonfires – often these lack consideration for neighbours and can get out of control, resulting in call outs to a busy fire service. We continue to remind residents that fly-tipping is illegal.

Most of all, please work with us by making small changes to your regular routine until things get back to normal. Thank you.”