7 August 2013

Planning consent brings first bank holiday bin service and more recycling

Planning permission for extended opening hours at Brighton & Hove’s main waste handling plant clears the way for communal recycling to start across the city centre. 

It would also mean household waste and recycling being collected on bank holidays for the first time.

The planning committee today (August 7) voted to allow Veolia’s waste and recycling facility in Hollingdean Lane to move to  a seven-days-a-week operation.

Previous planning consent from 2006 prevented nearly all activities related to waste collection and recycling on Sundays and bank holidays - and severely restricted them on Saturdays.  Only tipping of litter from street bins and sweeping was routinely allowed on Sundays or bank holidays.

Under the new permission, both waste and recycling activities can take place between 7am and 10pm, all week, including bank holidays. Only street litter and bin contents can be tipped on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The extra hours mean the council can now implement a decision last month to roll out communal recycling in the city centre.  The new service would replace kerbside black boxes for 32,000 homes.  Residents would instead take recycling to strategically-placed collection points.  The service is expected to be introduced gradually from next October. 

Officials predict the change will see a 70 per cent increase in recycling in the central area.  The move would also stop passers-by using black boxes as litter bins, contaminating recyclables and causing wind-blown debris.

Officials say the quantity of waste or recycling handled in Hollingdean would not increase, but would be spread more evenly across the week. Any future increase in recycling would mean reduced loads from bin lorries.

Chair of the planning committee Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty said: “We hope this signals an opportunity to achieve better recycling rates and cleaner streets. We should have a much tidier city once thousands of black boxes disappear.

“We looked carefully at the detail of the concerns raised by local residents.  There were a number of complaints generated by Veolia’s existing operations at Hollingdean.  The impact on residents was assessed by the planning committee and we will be keeping a close eye. Some operations already take place on Saturdays and Sundays.”

A Veolia Environmental Services spokesperson said: “The application is to facilitate Brighton & Hove City Council’s proposals to introduce communal recycling and collection of refuse and recycling on bank holidays (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

“Neither of the amendments will result in a change in the combined amount of material taken to the Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility and Waste Transfer Station.  Instead, it is forecast that there will be a slight decrease in refuse (approximately 3%) matched by a slight increase in recycling.

“Collecting refuse and recycling on bank holidays will avoid the need to catch up over several Saturdays after the holiday.  So whilst there may be an increase in vehicle movements on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays; overall the movements will be evened out.

“These measures are designed to make the service better for the City and help improve recycling rates.”