Annual savings of almost half a million pounds, a big reduction in the number of missed bins and maintained waste collections during last winter’s bad weather have all been delivered by Tamworth and Lichfield’s joint waste and recycling service.
The service was launched in July 2010 after Tamworth Borough Council joined forces with Lichfield District Council to deliver the new waste and recycling collections, with the aim of saving money, improving the service and reducing the miles covered by bin lorries – thereby cutting carbon emissions.
In the 15 months it has been in operation, the service has reached its saving target of £750,000 per year across the two authorities – with a saving of £420,000 for the taxpayers of Tamworth. Carbon emissions have been cut by around 141,500kg a year.
The number of missed bins has fallen from 5.5 per 1,000 in July 2010 to 1.12 per 1,000 in August this year and as a result, the number of complaints relating to missed bins has fallen to its lowest level since the service started. The service coped well with the bad weather over the Christmas period, with only one full day lost because of the icy conditions.
In July this year, the service won national recognition when it was named Local Authority Team of the Year at the National Recycling Awards. The team was praised for its creative approach to service design that helped it to achieve excellent results, in both cutting costs and delivering first class customer service. The judges also commented that the team brought about the biggest changes in its approach to recycling and waste management, which have delivered results.
Cllr John Garner, Cabinet member for Environment and Waste Management, said, “The joint waste and recycling service is a real success story which has brought huge improvements to tens of thousands of residents across Tamworth and Lichfield.
“I would like to thank the residents of Tamworth for the way they have received the service and the positive comments they have made to staff about the way the improvements have made the service easier to use. We will now build on that success by continuing to make further improvements to make the service even better.”
The next steps to further improve the service include a review of collections and rounds to improve efficiency, a further reduction in the number of missed bins and an increase in recycling capacity.