The Great Waste Debate - Questions and Answers
Here are some frequently asked questions about recycling and bin collections.
1. What's the amount of waste from the Mansfield District currently taken to landfill?
For the year 2006/07, the amount of waste generated by the Mansfield District and taken to landfill was 34728.84 tonnes – the equivalent weight to more than 180 Blue Whales.
2. What is Mansfield District's current recycling rate?
For 2006/07 the percentage of our waste which was recycled or composted was 27%.
3. What would be the cost of introducing a weekly green bin collection for every household in the Mansfield District during the summer?
Initial costings show that the price of introducing a weekly green bin collection in the Mansfield District for a 13-week period over the summer would be approximately £284,000. Other factors such as the availability of staff and vehicles, the cost of land to store additional vehicles and the need for sickness and holiday cover also need to be taken into account. If more waste is generated, additional landfill costs would also have to be met as would any fines imposed by the EU if the recycling rate does not hit its targets.
4. What extra capacity for general waste in our green bins that the service would provide?
Weekly collections will double the current capacity, so currently people either have 180litres or 240litres per fortnight for general refuse. Introducing weekly collections will double this so 360litres per fortnight or 480litres per fortnight for general refuse.
5. A breakdown of the number of properties served by blue, green and brown bin service:
100% on residual (green bin)
98% on recycling (blue bin)
74% on garden waste (brown bin)
6. Have any health impact studies been carried out into alternate week collections?
A 2007 study by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concluded that there was "no evidence that alternate week waste collections will cause any significant health impacts for residents or that health are likely to be significantly greater than those associated with weekly collections". A copy of the report can be viewed on-line.
However, critics say kitchen waste left to rot for up to a fortnight and encourages vermin such as rats, maggots and flies to flourish and creates smells during summer months. Critics also say that it fortnightly residual waste collections encourage fly tipping as people do not have the capacity in their bin for all their waste.
7. The number of complaints the Council has received relating to maggots/flies/smells or other problems attributed to fortnightly green bin collections.
In the 18 months there have been 11 official complaints to Mansfield District Council relating to maggots/flies/smells or other issues associated with fortnightly green bin collections.
8. What are the Council's recycling targets and how severe will the fines be if we don't meet them?
The Council must recycle 40% of its rubbish by 2010 but penalties for not hitting the targets have not yet been set.