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Budget Proposal 2024/25: Reduce litter bins and dog waste bins

Have your say.

Consultation status Results published
Start date: 2023-11-27
End date: 2024-01-11
Results 2024-02-29
Category:
Ward:

Activity closed. Results published.

Balanced scales

Background

In total, West Berkshire Council maintains and empties approximately 785 litter bins and 255 dog waste bins throughout the district. This includes locations along the public highway, within town centres, residential areas, selected laybys, and parks and open spaces.

Our waste contractor empties litter bins along the public highway, within town centres, residential areas and selected laybys when they are full or nearly full based on their own inspections, checks done by council staff or following reports from members of the public.

Litter bins and dog waste bins in parks and open spaces are emptied by our grounds maintenance contractor up to three times per week. The grounds maintenance contractor also empties a total of 105 litter and dog bins on behalf of 19 parish councils in the district.

It is not possible to recycle waste placed within our general litter bins due to the amount of non-recyclable waste placed within them. Waste placed within our recycling litter bins is recycled as often as possible, depending on the level of contamination within the bin when it is emptied. 

Dog waste is no longer considered to be a biohazard and therefore it can be deposited in any public litter bin or your black wheeled bin at home.


Legislation Requirements

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that the public highway (and any other relevant land they are responsible for such as parks and open spaces) is, in so far as is practicable, kept clear of litter and refuse. We comply with this through the litter picking and street cleansing operations we run. The provision of litter and dog waste bins is not a statutory requirement and therefore we are not duty bound to provide them to the extent currently available.


What we are proposing

We are proposing to:

  • remove approximately 340 litter bins on a permanent basis (equivalent to 44% of the total number)
  • remove approximately 230 dog waste bins on a permanent basis (equivalent to 90% of the total number)
  • reduce the frequency of emptying some dog waste bins and litter bins in parks and open spaces from three occasions per week to two
  • cease emptying dog waste bins and litter bins on behalf of a number of parishes; we will work with them to identify an alternative contractor

You can Icon for pdf find a full list of the litter bins that we are responsible for and are proposing for removal here [141KB] .

You can Icon for pdf find a full list of the dog waste bins that we are responsible for and are proposing for removal here [99KB] .

Our street cleansing and litter picking service, and Town and Parish Council maintained litter bins are not affected by this proposal.

In order to allow for the increased capacity the council will, over time, seek to replace dog waste bins with covered litter bins.  

These proposals will have a combined annual saving of approximately up to £90,000.


What we think the impact will be

We think that this proposal will have the following impact:

  • more litter being disposed of or recycled at home; due to the current levels of contamination in our waste and recycling litter bins, this may mean more waste is recycled in future
  • increased littering and dog fouling of the roadside, countryside, parks and open spaces and rural villages, if people don't act responsibly and take their waste home if there is no litter bin
  • incidences of ghost binning (where the public continue to leave litter and dog poo bags on the ground, hanging in trees/bushes despite the removal of a bin from that location)
  • increased number of complaints to the council, with a subsequent impact on staff workload in the form of increased inspections to determine if the level of litter requires work, and in corresponding with members of the public
  • increased pressure on the street cleansing and litter picking service, which could have a detrimental impact across the district as they are diverted to react to clear litter from an area previously serviced by a litter bin
  • requests for attendance of the council's Dog Warden to address increased dog fouling

Icon for pdf Please refer to the Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more details. [34KB]


What else we have considered before arriving at our proposal

We have considered:

  • removing all litter bins and dog waste bins that we currently provide - however this is not something that we want to do, as it will be detrimental to the quality of the environment
  • encouraging other local organisations or community groups to 'adopt' or sponsor a litter bin by covering the costs of its emptying and maintenance, which would mean that we could retain it in place; this is something that we are still open to and if this could be of interest to you, we'd encourage you to mention this in your consultation response

Why we want your views

We would like to know how these proposals might impact you and the wider community, and any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of these proposed changes, if the decision is taken to proceed with them.


How to take part

If you'd like to comment on these proposals, please complete our survey by midnight on Thursday, 11 January 2024. It should take about 10 minutes. 

If you have any questions about the consultation, please email environmentconsult@westberks.gov.uk 

For general information about rubbish and recycling, please visit our webpage.

You can report problems on a road or pavement, or in parks, countryside and open space, including dog fouling on our website.


What happens next

All the feedback we receive will be taken into consideration, and a final decision whether to proceed with these proposals will be made by elected Members at the Full Council Meeting to be held on Thursday, 29 February 2024.

If the decision is made to proceed with these proposals the changes will be implemented from 1 April 2024.

 

Back to the main Budget Proposal page

What you told us

In total, 986 responses were received.

We received 0 petitions.


A summary of the responses received is included in the agenda papers for each public meeting.

What we did

The budget for 2024/25 will be considered by councillors at the Executive meeting on Thursday, 8 February 2024, and then by Full Council on Thursday, 29 February 2024. It will also be discussed by members of the Special Scrutiny Commission on Tuesday, 6 February 2024.

All meetings will be open to the public and residents can attend either in person at the Market Street Offices or virtually.

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