Agenda item

To formally report the receipt of an e-petition submitted requesting changes to the operation of the Council’s waste management functions.




(a)   Ms. Tyler be thanked for her e-petition; and


(b)   the Environment Portfolio Holder’s written comments regarding the e-petition be endorsed as Cabinet’s formal response to Ms. Tyler’s e-petition.



Earlier on in the meeting, as reported under Minute 30 above, Councillor Placey had stated that she had signed this e-petition and that therefore she would leave the meeting whilst it was deliberated and decided upon by the Cabinet. Councillor Placey therefore accordingly left the meeting for this item.


Members were informed that an e-petition submitted by Sharon Tyler, as lead petitioner, had been received on 18 August 2023. The e-petition had been active in the period from 5 May to 18 August 2023 and had been validly signed by 33 persons.


It stated:-


“We, the undersigned, petition the Council to seek alternative solutions to waste collection in the District, specifically, that the issuing of lilac coloured rubbish bags to volunteer litter picking groups is changed so that these sacks do not go to landfill, wheelie bins are issued for household recycling doorstep collection and that more public bins are installed in Towns and along the Seafronts.”


The petitioners’ stated justification for this e-petition was that:-


“Wheelie bins for recycling rather than boxes would be more effective and make the collection process more efficient. Currently Veolia empty the boxes into a wheelie bin before emptying contents into the lorry. This is inefficient. The boxes and lids often get damaged and blown away or stolen meaning the Council must have a constant supply of new ones. Wheelie bins would be more efficient because the contents are kept safely inside until emptied and they are more robust. We also need more bins in the town and on the seafront that are separated by litter type to reduce what goes to landfill. There would be an initial cost for household recycling wheelie bins but this would be offset in cost savings made in dealing with litter more effectively. The lilac sacks from litter picking need to be changed so this litter doesn’t go directly to landfill.”


Cabinet was aware that waste management was an executive function and therefore the Cabinet was the appropriate body to consider this matter.


It was reported that, in accordance with the Council’s adopted Scheme for Dealing with Petitions, the receipt of this E-Petition had been reported, for Members’ information, to the meeting of the Full Council held on 26 September 2023. This matter had now been investigated and a report prepared and presented to the Cabinet on the basis that the Petition contained between 30 and 500 signatures.


The Assistant Director (Housing & Environment)’s written advice and assessment of the Petition was as follows:-


“The submission of this petition is timely as the Council is embarking on a review of its waste and recycling and street sweeping services in light of the expiry of the current contractual arrangements early in 2026.


The review, involving the creation of a dedicated Board and an all-party councillor working group, will consider the strategy the Council wishes to adopt in respect of waste and recycling and the preferred methods of collection and materials to be collected for recycling. The introduction of wheeled bins for the collection of recycling is something that will be considered as part of this process.


The work undertaken by community litter picking groups is very much appreciated and enhances the service provided by the Council’s contractors. The purple coloured bags provided to these groups is intended to differentiate the waste they collect from other waste that might be fly-tipped or inappropriately disposed of. Currently, all litter collected through litter picking and from public waste bins in the District is disposed of to landfill. This is something that will be included in the review of the services already mentioned. Separation of litter picking waste by community litter picking groups into recyclable and residual waste streams is technically possible however would require more work and time at the point of picking and a more complicated collection process.


Along with the level of litter bin provision in the district we will also be considering the feasibility of introducing on street recycling options although other government schemes brought forward in the Environment Act 2021 will place a greater obligation on producers and suppliers to provide recycling opportunities.”


In addition, Cabinet had before it the following comments submitted by the Environment Portfolio Holder:-


“It is excellent and encouraging to see so many residents express their interest in how the Council collects and recycles waste in the District. It also highlights the excellent community spirited work undertaken by the many volunteer litter pickers, who I sincerely thank for their efforts in making our communities better places to live and work.


As highlighted by our Assistant Director earlier in this report we are entering an exciting period as we review how we want to collect, manage and recycle the waste produced in the District from 2026 onwards. We will feed the comments from this petition directly into that process.”


Sharon Tyler, the lead petitioner, had previously informed the Committee Services Manager that she was unable to attend the meeting to put forward her petition.


            Having duly considered and discussed the Petition and in order to comply with the adopted scheme for dealing with petitions, as set out in the Council’s Constitution:-


            It was moved by Councillor Bush, seconded by Councillor I J Hendersonand:-




(a)   Ms. Tyler be thanked for her e-petition; and


(b)   the Environment Portfolio Holder’s written comments regarding the e-petition be endorsed as Cabinet’s formal response to Ms. Tyler’s e-petition.


Supporting documents: