Billy Wells, the Neighbourhoods Services Manager
provided an insight into the relationship between Housing and
Street Environment Services.
In the discussion the following points were made:
Regular meetings are held between officers of Street Environmental
Services and Housing Services to ensure that there was a joined up
approach on issues around collections in estates and over the last
12 months there had been significant progress in addressing
Members were advised that the introduction of technology especially
on some of the recently acquired refuse collection vehicles would
enable officers to identify levels of recycling participation in
different areas and help them direct resources to address the
different challenges around participation and
In response to a question on how to improve recycling rates on
Estates, the Neighbourhood Service Manager advised that this could
be done by using the caretaker app that is being developed for the
caretaking services; working with and supporting caretakers to be
recycling ambassadors; providing regular training to caretakers;
siting of recycling sites closer to residents; introducing
competitions amongst estates and resident involvement.
The Head of Homes and Neighbourhood Services reiterated the
importance of resident’s involvement as the key to
participation levels with the view to getting resident volunteers
to be recognised as ‘resident champions’.
In response to concerns that recycling bins were being placed in
locations that had no clear signage, thereby confusing residents,
the Chair requested that when this is brought to the attention of
Members that this should be reported to officers so they could
investigate and address it. The Street Scene Strategy Manager
reassured Members that although there were differences in
management style by TMO’s or TRA’s, the decision
regarding the siting and design of bins would have been agreed
following a consultation process with residents.
With regards to residents’ complaints about the condition and
state of the bins especially damaged lids and untidiness, the
Street Scenes Strategy Manager acknowledged that both operators and
caretakers would need to be proactive in reporting these cases.
Members were advised that the Council was in the process of
replacing more bins with better designed bins through it’s Capital programme.
With regards to the Caretakers app, Members were advised that this
tool would enable caretakers to identify residents who were not
participating or reluctant. The Housing Officer informed the
meeting that although the app is still being developed, it is
considered a good tool for identifying low rates of recycling and
reporting missed collections etc.
On the issue of community engagement and consultation, officers
were asked to consider seeking views beyond those regular residents
who attend Tenant and Residents Association meetings by using
online forums so that feedback is more representative.
There was concern that some businesses were using communal bins
designated for household recycling and some estates received both
estate and street type collections which caused
confusion. A Member queried why the
Council only provided residual bins for properties managed and
owned by Southern Housing as this would not encourage recycling by
· The Neighbourhood Services Manager welcomed the offer of additional training for staff about recycling, facilitated by Matthew Homer, the Street Scenes Manager. On the concerns about tipping and environmental crimes especially around communal areas in estates, he advised that the Council has been successful in dealing with such cases by employing mobile CCTV’s and in serious cases by way of prosecutions.