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Green waste collections to restart in Derbyshire Dales- but at an extra cost

Dales councillors have agreed plans which will see garden waste bin collections restart – but at an extra cost.

Derbyshire Dales District Council’s new emergency committee agreed to bring collections back from June 1.

An original plan had been to work with private contractor Serco, whick makes the collections, to divert its fleet to another disposal site for six weeks from June 1  to enable crews to pick up more waste at a faster place and reduce the backlog of collections faster.

For instance, crews usually driving from all over the district to Ashbourne to deposit waste could instead drop it at another site, reducing journey times.

This would include the council paying Serco an extra £9,000 in staff overtime fees and losing thousands of pounds in missed recycling income.

It was revealed in last night’s meeting that this disposal site would have been Waterswallows in Buxton – 20 miles from the district council’s Matlock headquarters.

Councillors were told that at 8am yesterday the council was informed by the Buxton site that it could not accept the extra waste.

The plan was changed to hire an extra bin lorry “to help clear the backlog in garden waste”.

The council would provide the driver and Serco the additional staff in the crew, which the authority would pay for, along with fuel.

In total, this will cost the council an extra £2,829 a week – so £16,974 over the six period from June 1 for which the extra vehicle is needed to clear the backlog.

This would be covered by government grant money given to the council to help pay for pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Sue Hobson said this was a “dynamic solution” and “the resumption of the green waste collections is a priority for residents”.

The extra waste from the hired vehicle would be deposited at Vital Earth in Ashbourne, the authority’s usual site. This will mean the district council will not lose thousands of pounds in recycling credit income.

Ashley Watts, director of community and environmental services, said the trip to Ashbourne will cause “some delays” and will be “slightly slower”.

He said: “There is likely to be a backlog (in garden waste). The service has been suspended for several weeks and it is the time of year when people will be mowing their lawns more and we have had good weather too.”

Cllr Paul Cruise says that the authority needs to keep an eye on its finances and that cost should be shared fairly with Serco.

He says: “Going back to normality is important and bringing back the garden waste collections is a step towards that.”

Cllr Claire Raw said: “This is really important but it is frustrating that we are dealing with a subject where there are no public health issues at a time when there are issues which involved public health that this emergency committee could be discussing.”

Cllr Graham Elliott said the backlog of garden waste collections is a public health issue when it results in a spike in garden fires – which he says it has in his ward (Lathkill and Bradford).

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