Our Local Environment: Latest News
Waste Collection performance remains strong, but Biffa have just alerted us to a shortage of HGV and other drivers across the country.
On Garden waste, we are seeing the usual high levels of seasonal waste for collection. Subscriptions for the new contract starting from August 1st are running at 25,000 so far and we are hopeful of reaching over 30000 in total.
Litter clearance has been completed successfully with traffic management in place on the A259, A 22, A27, A264 and A 267.
With the Great British Spring Clean which concluded on June 13th, and since April groups and individuals removed 700 bags/ 3 tonnes of litter.
Our anti-littering campaign continues, and I appeared on BBC Radio Southeast to highlight the campaign.
Our 2020/21 recycling rate has been calculated at 48.4% which is down on 49.5% in the previous year. However, we had a large increase in waste during the pandemic, household tips were closed for a while, and we had to suspend the garden waste collection for 3 weeks so overall our result is not too bad.
Waste Collection Vehicles
We are discussing with Biffa introducing electric vehicles into our operations.
There is a debate, of course, about the long-term impact of hydrogen and whether EV investment will be a short-term solution. Another option is HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) which could be another and quicker short-term possibility.
There are cost and contractual implications for any option and the Council will be putting together a full report with the environmental and financial consequences of each.
The Environment Bill.
This Bill is going through Parliament at present.
One objective is to provide consistent collections for recycling across the country. In Wealden, we meet the national criteria, so we are quite supportive of that.
However, we are opposed to a free garden waste collection which is proposed. It would be expensive to operate and deny us the significant revenue which helps to keep Council Tax down.
There is concern about the cost of suggested statutory Food Waste collections. The cost could be huge and the number of bins outside properties will grow. There are questions about the carbon footprint of yet another collection when the overall objective is to reduce emissions. Part of the government’s thinking appears to be stopping food waste going to landfill which, of course, it doesn’t in East Sussex.
We are lobbying our M.P.s on the Bill.
Our new Wealden Tourism branding was launched on June 30th and our new website was launched on July 7th. Please have a look and let me know what you think. We will be working on spreading the word in the next few months and looking at other ideas to help tourism businesses.
22 possible partners for EV charging have been identified and we are working through the procurement process.
Hopefully, we will be able to identify likely sites very soon and get on with installing the charging points. At a later stage we will be contacting Towns and Parishes to look at opportunities for working with them.
A further roll out of Solar Together is being planning for later in the year. Homeowners are invited to participate in a bulk buying exercise through an auction
July 8th, 2021
Your local Councillors.
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