Stirling Council are in the process of rolling out changes to their waste and recycling collection service, providing a further 2x 240L bins to most households in addition to their existing bins. The council forwarded the frequently asked questions below for publication.
Why is the new collection service being introduced?
The materials we throw away are valuable and recycling helps the economy by creating jobs locally as well as in the Scottish recycling industry.
Sending household waste to landfill costs Stirling Council over £2 million in 2015 equating to roughly £5,721 per day. We can reduce this by recycling more of our waste.
The majority of our current operational vehicles are over 7 years old and at the end of their operational life and must be replaced. The new collection service requires fewer vehicles which will enable us to deliver a more efficient service, at a lower overall cost and reduce our CO2 emissions.
In addition to the above factors, the Scottish Government has set recycling targets which stipulate;
- By 2020 food waste can no longer be sent to landfill.
- By 2025 we will have to recycle, compost or reuse 70% of all waste and limit the waste going to landfill to 5%.
The new recycling and waste service has been designed so we can achieve these challenging targets. The new system will help make it easier to recycle, allow more materials to be recycled and increase the resilience and reliability of our collection method. The new service will also be delivered at a lower cost.
Will the Council have to pay for another fleet of vehicles to collect the new bins?
Our current fleet is at the end of its operation life and must be replaced. As such, we have invested in a new fleet of vehicles to improve the reliability and resilience of the service. The current fleet comprises of 42 vehicles however the new collection service and seven day working means we only require 13 new vehicles. The current kerbside recycling vehicles only have a payload of 800kg and existing Hufferman refuse vehicles only have a payload of 8000kg. The new fleet of refuse collection vehicles will have a pay load of 11,250kg which will allow us to collect more waste and recycling whilst reducing mileage, fuel consumption and Co2 emissions.
When will the new service start?
The new service started in urban areas in early September. Distribution of new bins and collections will start mid-October in rural areas. Once you receive your new bins, you should begin to use them straight away and follow your new collection calendar. Please do not put out your kerbside boxes. Any recycling already in your recycling box should be transferred into your new bins. Your blue recycling box should continue to be used for glass only and presented for collection as per your new calendar. Please note that for some areas, there may be a change of collection day.
If you are having trouble understanding your collection calendar please contact our Advisors on 01786 404040.
- Put all paper and cardboard into your green bin
- Put all plastics, cans, cartons, aerosols and tin foil into your blue bin
- Put glass bottles and jars into your blue box
- Put all garden and food waste into your brown bin
- Put all non-recyclable items into your grey bin
Blue boxes are for glass and jars only and should be presented along with your new bins on your new collection day.
We will collect unwanted brown boxes and outdoor food caddies in the forthcoming weeks, alternatively you can take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. All collected items will be recycled.
Please refer to your Service Guide for further information and check your new collection calendar for which bins to present and for your new collection day.
What do I do if I haven’t received any of the new bins before new collections have started in my area?
Stirling Council has appointed an external contractor to distribute our new bins. We are working with them to ensure all 82,000 bins are delivered to properties on time. However, if you think your property has been missed you should contact us urgently on 01786 404040.
Will the bins be stickered so we know what goes where?
Yes, you will receive stickers for your new and existing containers as part of your full service guide. These will be delivered at the same time as your new bins.
What if I live in a flat and don’t have space for new bins or my bin is allocated at a road end?
Flatted properties will be assessed on a case by case basis. If there is not enough space for individual flats to have all of the new bins, flats may be asked to share bins. Road end collections will also be assessed for space. We have a range of bin sizes available (140l, 240l, 360l or 1100l) and will use these to minimise as much as possible the number of bins required at these locations.
I am on a sack collection at the moment, will this continue?
Yes, if you are currently on a purple sack collection you will continue to use sacks. Properties will be allocated two sacks per week free of charge. If you need additional sacks these can be purchased at our Customer First Office on Port Street, Stirling or ordered on 01786 404040.
What do I do if I have extra waste that won’t fit in my bins?
If you have extra waste or recycling you can take it, free of charge, to one of Stirling’s three Household Waste Recycling Centre’s at Lower Polmaise, Callander and Balfron. You can also recycle additional types of materials at these facilities such as large electrical items, metal and furniture. Opening times and a full list of items accepted at HWRC’s (Household Waste Recycling Centre) can be found here.
Cardboard being collected every four weeks isn’t enough for me, what else can I do?
The cardboard and paper bin provides more than four boxes worth of space for cardboard however if this is still not enough you can take your cardboard to one of the three HWRC’s (Household Waste Recycling Centre).
Is it not possible to have one bin for dry mixed recycling?
Stirling Council recycled 54.5% of waste last year, making us one of the top performing Councils in Scotland. We will continue to collect separate streams of recyclate to retain the high quality of material currently collected. Glass must be collected separately for recycling processing purposes.
Will these additional bins block the pavements for prams, wheel chairs and mobility scooters and pedestrians?
We have taken this into consideration when designing our routes, we will never have all of the bins and boxes presented on the same day.
I am on a pull out service, will this continue?
If you currently use our assisted collection service you will continue to receive this when the new service starts. Please check your new collection calendar to find out if your collection day has changed.
Will you collect the old Brown boxes, caddies and trolleys?
Yes, if you do not want to keep them we will put a system in place to collect unwanted caddies, boxes and trolleys. Further information will be provided nearer the time.
Will the new vehicles still require spare containers for the vehicles to be left in laybys around Stirling?
No, the new vehicles will not require additional containers to be stored around Stirling.
What do I do if my bins have not been collected after 10pm on my collection day?
To report a missed bin please call the Contact Centre on 01786 404040. The Contact Centre will be able to advise if a route is running late or arrange an alternative collection. You can report a missed bin via your myStirling account on our website.
Please leave your bin presented at the kerbside until we collect it. Stirling Council does not lift excess waste, if the bin lid does not close or there are bags of excess waste we will be unable to collect them.
My bin has been damaged or is missing, can I get a replacement?
To request a bin replacement or repair please call our Contact Centre on 01786 404040.
If the food waste is only being collected every two weeks, won’t this cause bad smells or pests?
No, the food waste will be diluted throughout your garden waste which will now be collected all year round. We will continue to supply biodegradable liners if you do not want to put your food waste directly into your garden bin. At the planning stage, we liaised with many other Local Authorities who operate a similar collection system including Falkirk, Perth and Kinross and more recently Glasgow, to our knowledge this has not been reported as an issue.
I have run out of biodegradable liners, can I get more?
Yes, liners are still available free of charge. Tie a liner round the handle of your brown bin on your next collection day and the crew will leave a supply.
What about collections over Christmas time particularly cardboard collections?
The improved system provides greater capacity for your recyclable materials and will be collected all year round. Any additional waste can be taken to your local HWRC (Household Waste Recycling Centre). Please check your new collection calendar for details of Public Holiday collections.
Can I recycle plastics other than plastic bottles in my blue bin?
Yes, you can now recycle plastic pots, tubs and trays as well as plastic bottles. This includes, butter tubs, yoghurt pots, fruit and meat trays.
Please do not put hard plastics e.g toys, plastic bags, sweet and crisp packets or plastic wrap in your blue bin.
The glass box will have the heaviest items in it, what about people who would struggle to lift these?
We will continue to offer a pull out and return service for customers that have difficulties presenting their containers. Pull out and return application forms can be obtained from our Contact Centre on 01786 404040.
How big are the bins?
The new green and blue bins are 240l, these are the same size as your current grey and brown bins. We also have a compliment of smaller 140l green and blue bins for properties that cannot accommodate the larger bins. The smaller size bins will only be issued following an assessment of your property and individual needs. If you would like to request a smaller size bin, please call our Contact Centre on 01786 404040.
What is going to happen when bins aren’t taken back in at the correct time? More bins will be blocking the pavements.
We will continue to work with our enforcement team to ensure the streets are kept clear of bins out with allocated collection days. A comprehensive monitoring programme will follow the implementation of the improved collection service.
Why are there collections on Saturday’s and Sunday’s?
Stirling Council’s Waste Collection Service are moving to 7 day collections and will operate between 7am and 5.30pm Monday to Sunday. In doing this, we have been able to replace our existing ageing fleet of 42 vehicles with 9 high performing waste collection vehicles and an additional 4 mixed support vehicles. This will improve the reliability and resilience of the service, reduce our Co2 emissions and deliver the service at a lower cost.
The geographical layout of the rural area means that in most cases, we have some travelling distance before starting collections, allowing us to reduce disruption by not carrying out collections as early as 7am.
Will weekend collections cause disruption in rural tourist areas?
We are keen to avoid disruption in tourist areas, particularly during peak times, and will design our routes to avoid this as much as possible.
Will weekend collections increase risk to health and safety, e.g. potential for more pedestrians, parked vehicles?
The health and safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. As a Local Authority, we provide services to the public every day and we have in place the procedures, policies and training to support our operations. The new vehicles will be fitted with the latest safety equipment including a controlled stopping system, handbrake failsafe system, and reverse and side sensors. In addition, we have specific operating procedures in place for reversing which include the use of a banksman.
What consultation went on with communities about this?
The changes to your recycling and waste service were discussed as part of the Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) community engagement process between September 2015 and February 2016. A range of channels were available for providing feedback on the options as well as putting forward other ideas. These included Community Conversations, Business Breakfast Briefings, meetings with other community groups and young people, emails and surveys. In total, more than 1,750 people or groups engaged with us.
If you cannot find the answer you were looking for please visit our website at www.stirling.gov.uk/waste or call our contact centre on 01786 404040 to speak to one of our advisers.