Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

At present, every household has their waste collected in a single bin in parts of Dumfries (ie; Georgetown).
I have the following questions;
1. When is the council proposing to introduce separate bins for collection of garden/food, recyclable materials (glass/paper/plastic etc.) and landfill?
2. When can taxpayers expect improved facilities to replace the current inadequate ones at Lochar Moss, for example, which are very small and often crowded, leading to long waiting times and traffic congestion/pollution?
3. I have heard, anectodally, that facilities and attendant collection lorries have been available for some time awaiting deployment, but due to various reasons, this has not materialised.
If true, can the council confirm the reason(s)?
4. I also understand that other areas within Dumfries and Galloway do already have a separate bin collection system. If so, why has this not been implemented county-wide?

Yours faithfully,

Marc Burden

Dumfries and Galloway Council

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John Golding left an annotation ()

It is about time there was a full scale campaign to set up a fully operational recycling scheme in Dumfries and Galloway. Quite how the council has managed to continue to refuse to recycle is open to question. It is typical of their irresponsible attitude.

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 369367 which was received on 31/10/2018.

Details of request: At present, every household has their waste collected in a single bin in parts of Dumfries (ie; Georgetown).
I have the following questions;

1. When is the council proposing to introduce separate bins for collection of garden/food, recyclable materials (glass/paper/plastic etc.) and landfill?
2. When can taxpayers expect improved facilities to replace the current inadequate ones at Lochar Moss, for example, which are very small and often crowded, leading to long waiting times and traffic congestion/pollution?
3. I have heard, anectodally, that facilities and attendant collection lorries have been available for some time awaiting deployment, but due to various reasons, this has not materialised.
If true, can the council confirm the reason(s)?
4. I also understand that other areas within Dumfries and Galloway do already have a separate bin collection system. If so, why has this not been implemented county-wide?

Response:

1. When is the council proposing to introduce separate bins for collection of garden/food, recyclable materials (glass/paper/plastic etc.) and landfill?

As you have correctly stated (in your question 4), Dumfries and Galloway Council have only partially rolled-out its source-separated waste collection service (kerbside recycling service), within the Wigtown area, with the waste collected being processed at the recently constructed Stranraer Zero Waste Park. However, the source separated collection has yet to be rolled-out across the remaining three areas - Stewartry, Nithsdale and Annandale and Eskdale. Within these areas waste is collected in a single bin and processed at the Ecodeco facility in Dumfries which shreds, dries and separates recyclates from the waste streams. The delay to the source-separated waste collection roll-out across the Stewartry, Nithsdale and Annandale and Eskdale areas was due to the need for our Council to complete a variation to its Waste PFI Contract with its private sector partner. This contract was signed in November 2004 in accordance with the legislation at the time and involved a single bin being delivered to the contractor. The new Zero Waste legislation now in place in Scotland Requires our Council to collect food waste and dry recyclate at the kerbside and the delivery of these waste streams to the contractor requires the Waste PFI Contract to be varied.
However, as you may be aware, the Waste PFI contract with our provider, Renewi, was terminated recently and as of 11 November 2018, the disposal service is being delivered by the Council. This transfer in-house of the former Waste PFI Contract services will allow an integration process to progress to merge the services with the existing Council services. Now that the constraints of the Waste PFI Contract have fallen away the Council is developing proposals for the continuation of the kerbside recyclables collection service across the region and will report back to the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee on the options to take this forward. The Director has undertaken to report to EEI Committee in July 2019.
Consequently, at this time I am unable to give dates as to when the roll-out will happen but please be assured we are progressing matters as expeditiously as we can. As you are aware, members of the public are able to recycle by visiting our Household Waste Recycling Centres. Details of these centres can be found at http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/recyclingcentres.

2. When can taxpayers expect improved facilities to replace the current inadequate ones at Lochar Moss, for example, which are very small and often crowded, leading to long waiting times and traffic congestion/pollution?

At present I am unable to provide timescales for construction of a new Household Waste Recycling Centre at the Dumfries Zero Waste Park to replace the existing facility on A709 at Lochar Moss. I can confirm that following the termination of the Waste PFI Contract will allow the development of this facility without impacting upon contractual arrangements.

3. I have heard, anectodally, that facilities and attendant collection lorries have been available for some time awaiting deployment, but due to various reasons, this has not materialised.
If true, can the council confirm the reason(s)?

The vehicles and boxes have been purchased for the whole region but have been limited to deployment in the Wigtown area only. The reasons for this are as detailed in answer to your Question 1. In terms of facilities, Stranraer Zero Waste Park has been constructed but no facility in Dumfries has yet been completed, as detailed in answer to Question 2.

4. I also understand that other areas within Dumfries and Galloway do already have a separate bin collection system. If so, why has this not been implemented county-wide?

This has been answered above.

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Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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John Golding left an annotation ()

There is very little in the way of definite facts in the response from the council. It seems to be a catalogue of ifs and maybes. To make matters worse, it was reported in the local paper recently that the council is investigating the use of multiple general rubbish bins by households in the area as a whole. It seems that some households have numerous bins and there have been requests by others for more bins as well. The answer is to operate a county wide recycling system which would reduce the need for bin space for all kinds of rubbish. It is not good enough to tell people to take stuff to recycling points as not everyone is able to drive there to do this. In any case, the energy consumption used would be counter productive.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,
As John Golding has quite correctly stated, your (eventual) answer is nothing more than a catalogue of vague possibilities.
In the light of this, you need to look at this matter from a taxpayer's point of view. There is a definite lack of cohesion in your approach, which if rectified, could probably save taxpayers money, as well as reduce pollution/congestion by cutting down unnecessary private journeys to waste disposal facilities. You make no mention of exactly why re-location of the Lochar Moss waste site has been delayed, together with the roll-out of collection vehicles. This was, as I understand from those that work at the facility, due to happen at least two years ago.
The quality of infrastructure is a prime factor in attracting outside investment - financial, physical and intellectual. This matter falls under that greater umbrella, so you need to ask yourselves, what, if anything, can be done to improve matters. I would suggest, at the very least, giving the taxpayer a definitive time to deliver, as well as a clear indication of costs involved and any ultimate savings, which I am sure will accrue.
If it is any consolation, I have recently re-located from an English shire council (Cambridgeshire) who appear to be just as incompetent and profligate in their financial mismanagement.

Yours faithfully,

Marc Burden

FOI, Dumfries and Galloway Council



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Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be
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FOI, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Dear Mr Burden

Thank you for your email reply the Council's FOI response. The development of an integrated waste collection and disposal service following the termination of the Waste PFI Contract with Renewi at the end of last year is something the Council are actively pursuing. There are many factors to consider and opportunities to build upon both local and national experiences of source separated collection and subsequent disposal / recycling and this is currently being undertaken by Council officers. The 2012 Legislation, the changes in the markets for recyclates e.g. bans on certain waste streams to China, and the current Scottish Government proposals for a deposit return scheme make it critical that a flexible system, able to change to meet external influences, and is cost effective is developed. This is also tied-up with the development of the Dumfries Zero Waste Park which includes a new Household Waste Recycling Centre. I am sorry I cannot provide you more detailed timescales but my Director has given Members assurances that a report will come to Committee in July 2019 detailing waste collection and disposal.

Kind regards,

Information Management and Complaints Unit

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Dear Sirs,

Thank you for the reply.
I do of course realise that you are having to comply with various directives regarding waste disposal and that you are undoubtedly doing your best to manage the ensuing requirements emanating from these.
It is probably a sign of the lack of joined up thinking in the UK as a whole in this and other infrastructure/environmental matters, as well as constantly changing goalposts (recent admissions that China can no longer take the UK's and Japan's waste, for example), that are possibly making your job harder/more financially costly than necessary.
I shall look forward to positive developments in D&G over the next while on this front.
All the best for 2019.
Best Regards,

Marc Burden

John Golding left an annotation ()

The fact that most of the local authorities in the UK have had an effective system for recycling for years demonstrates the failures of D and G Council to address this matter. The best local authority I have come across is Brighton and Hove City Council who have had recycling for just about everything for many years. Should the officials in D and G Council feel like a junket, I suggest they pay a visit to Brighton and Hove to see how it is done.

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