Alternate Weekly Collection Resumes

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council is reminding residents that residual waste (that which cannot be recycled) will be collected every other week as from the week commencing Monday 6 October 2008 on the alternate week to the recycling collection, which will continue as before. Throughout the summer months residual waste has been collected every week. However, it will now revert to alternate weekly collections until May next year. Details of collection dates can be found in the most recent edition of the Council`s waste and recycling collection calendar.

Collection of wheelie bin residual waste

Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection Councillor Mary Sartin said: The Council responded positively to feedback from residents who wanted a weekly collection when the weather is at its warmest because of problems associated with flies, smells and maggots. However, during the cooler months the majority of residents felt they could cope with a collection every other week.

Councillor Sartin went on to say: I really appreciate the efforts of our residents and I would encourage all of them to continue with and improve upon their excellent record of recycling almost 42% of their household rubbish. In particular I would urge them to make full use of the kerbside recycling facilities the Council provides.

Councillor Sartin concluded: I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all residents to complete our public consultation on the waste and recycling service which can be found on the homepage of the Council’s website (click on the ‘« back’ button below to return to the homepage) or in the centre of the current edition of The Forester. We really need everyone`s views in order to improve and develop the service. Working together we can recycle more and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and help protect our environment.

Safer Communities Partnership 3 Year Plan

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Our performance, Performance, Residents, Working with the council, Your community, Your council, Your home


The Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership is a statutory collaboration of organisations and groups working together to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the District.

It is made up of Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Essex County Council, West Essex Primary Care Trust, and Essex Fire & Rescue Service (Responsible Authorities), but includes many other local bodies such as Probation, Victim Support, the Youth Offending Team, Registered Social Landlords, Neighbourhood Watch and residents groups.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires the responsible authorities within each District in England and Wales to form a Safer Communities Partnership (SCP), also referred to as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) or Community safety Partnership (CSP).

Each SCP is required to conduct an annual strategic assessment of crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour and issues which affect the quality of life of residents. The assessment identifies the key problems the district has by examining a wide range of data sets held by many organisations. Analysis of the data provides a comprehensive picture of issues affecting the District. Priorities for action are agreed, directed by the results of the strategic assessment. Those priorities are formulated into a 3 year partnership plan which sets targets to reduce crime, disorder and improve community safety.

Free Electric Blanket and Smoke Alarm Testing

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Older people, Residents, Your community, Your council, Your home

An electric blanket being tested by a Council officer

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Communities Team and Essex County Council Trading Standards have teamed up once again to carry out free electric blanket testing throughout the District.

This service is available to all Epping Forest District residents who are urged to come along to have their blankets tested whilst they wait. A faulty electric blanket can be the cause of house fires and this is a quick easy way to keep safe. This year, Essex County Fire & Rescue will also attend to promote their Home Safety Fire Scheme.

The Home Safety Fire Scheme also includes fire-fighters from your local Fire Station visiting your home in the Epping Forest District to give advice on fire safety and where necessary fit ten year smoke alarms.

This service is completely free and all you have to do is call 01279 420841 or turn up on the day to book your visit.

    Testing takes place between 10am and 1pm at:

  • Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton on 13 October 2008
  • Community Hall, Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping on 14 October 2008

For further information please contact the Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team by telephone on 01992 564272.

Epping Forest Residents Provide Fruit Trees in Malawi

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Recycling and waste, Residents, Supporting business, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Grafted trees

Everyone who recycles aluminium drinks cans in the Epping Forest District is helping grow fruit trees in Malawi. Latest figures show that in the past year residents have contributed to growing 81 grafted orange trees for families in rural Malawi and the more cans that are recycled, the more fruit trees will be grown.

The tree nurseries are run by local garden clubs and schools, which have been growing guava and pawpaw as well as the local lemon rootstock used for grafting the improved fruit species  – a new introduction to the area.

The first grafted trees have now been produced by trainees learning their new horticultural skills at the project and are being cared for both at Ripple Africa`s base on the shores of Lake Malawi, where they will be subject to trials for disease and drought resistance and at the garden club nurseries.

As well as providing a greenhouse, training and materials, Alupro is making sure that a fruit tree is grown to maturity for every tonne of aluminium recycled in the UK. This is to encourage everyone to recycle, by demonstrating how saving energy through recycling is linked to environmental challenges in Africa. Recycling aluminium is 20 times more efficient than making it from the raw material bauxite.

Grafted tree displayed in a recycled drinks canCouncillor Mary Sartin Portfolio Holder for Environment said: We are delighted that after just one year, recyclers in Epping Forest have been responsible for giving 81 fruit trees to the project, so I would urge everyone to make sure that they always recycle their drinks cans to help build a sustainable future in Malawi. Recyclers across the UK will give around 48,000 fruit trees this year. Many of the trees will be grown by individual families (improving their nutrition) and in community orchards which will provide opportunities for trade. The project also seeks to identify budding entrepreneurs who will be interested in developing small businesses to dry and juice fruits and create jobs. In these cases it is hoped that the business experience offered by the project will help ensure that the right decisions are made, small loans are available and successful initiatives established.

On top of all this is the environmental gain of growing so many valuable trees in an area suffering severe deforestation. Ripple is also growing fast-growing trees at the nurseries so they can be coppiced for firewood, which is one of the major reasons trees are felled.

Housing Proposals Discussed at Council Meeting

Written on . Posted in Business, Commercial properties, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Housing repairs, Meetings, Private housing, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Watch the webcastCouncil meeting dated 26 June 2008

At the latest Council meeting on Thursday 26 June 2008, Councillor Diana Collins, Leader of Epping Forest District Council reported back to Members on the latest discussions with associates in Harlow and East Herts regarding the East of England Plan. She confirmed that no housing would be allocated to North Weald under the Plan but then went on to say that no infrastructure was included for housing around the rest of Harlow either. Mrs Collins drew Members’ attention to the need to develop the Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF). She said that planning applications could be coming in, in a year for now and the Council needed the LDF in place to manage the local East of England Plan allocation of houses to the South, East and West of Harlow.

Councillor Collins described some of the experiences of Young Year 6 children attending ‘Crucial Crew 2008’ at Gilwell Park. She outlined how children were taught the importance of resisting peer pressure and refusing to do dangerous things.

Watch the webcastCouncillor Diana Collins report to Members

Councillor Mary Sartin, Environmental Protection Portfolio Holder gave a summary of recent actions. She noted that progress towards the completion of works on the pocket park at Bobbingworth was being delayed by the scarcity of sufficient quantities of good quality top soil.

Portfolio Holders new to their roles gave brief updates as they settled into the job. Councillor Richard Morgan, Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny gave a run down of recent work by his Committee.

Councillors received the latest Annual Statement of Accounts for Epping Forest District Council. The Council continues to benefit from a very sound financial position despite recent below inflation settlements from Central Government.

Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

Written on . Posted in Business, Housing, Licensing, Regulations, Residents, Your home

Landlords operating houses in multiple occupation are being warned that they need to be licensed. Failure to do so could result in a criminal record and a fine of up to £20,000. Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are premises in which tenants share parts of the accommodation (kitchens, bathrooms, toilets or simply the hallway or stairs) with people who are not part of the same household. The definition includes residential accommodation shared by staff who work in restaurants, public houses, takeaways and in agriculture.

In April 2006, the Government introduced compulsory licensing of larger, higher-risk Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) as part of the Housing Act 2004. These are those HMOs that consist of three storeys or more and contain at least five occupiers.

    Properties are required to have a licence if they have the following:

  • three or more floors, including habitable basements and attics
  • five or more occupants, including children
  • two or more households
  • shared amenities such as a bathroom, kitchen or toilet.

Until now, Epping Forest District Council has given private landlords a considerable period of grace so they could apply for an HMO licence. However, landlords who do not apply for a licence could be committing a criminal offence and face prosecution. Any rent paid on an unlicensed property might be recoverable through legal action.

Any tenant who believes that they are living in an HMO that requires licensing should also contact the Council – any information received will be treated in strict confidence. Upon application, a visit will be made to every licensable property to verify the details submitted in the application. Environmental Health Officers will inspect every licensed property to identify any hazards which pose a risk to the health and safety of the occupiers and take the relevant action to ensure that the property meets the criteria.

Any landlords who have not made a licensing application and believe they own a property which may be licensable should contact Epping Forest Council on 01992 564000 immediately and ask for the Private Sector Housing Team.


New Refuse and Recycling Contract Starts

Written on . Posted in Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your council, Your home

Residents will see changes to the way Epping Forest District Council`s new refuse contractor SITA UK collects domestic recycling. SITA UK takes over the five-year £22 million contract with effect from 5 November and will use compartmentalised lorries to collect dry and garden recycling at the same time. The different lorries will mean fewer `vehicle passes` – the number of times the contractor needs to send lorries down each road. The system will be more efficient and help improve the carbon footprint by reducing the total number of miles travelled by recycling collection lorries each year.

The new contract starts as Epping Forest District Council releases the latest impressive recycling figures. During the three months April to June, residents recycled 43 per cent of domestic household waste. Unaudited figures for July to September suggest that figure has increased to 45 per cent. Prior to the introduction of wheelie bins and seasonal alternate weekly collections, recycling levels were around 20 per cent.

SITA will take direct responsibility for collection of domestic waste from wheelie bins and street cleansing as well as recycling except for glass collection which will be sub-contracted via SITA to Lucy and Martin.

The refuse and recycling contract was put out to tender earlier this year. It followed extensive consultation with residents that confirmed the Council decision to make alternate weekly collection seasonal with weekly residual waste collections during the summer months.  SITA was assessed against a range of other bidders. It is a well-established company that provides refuse and recycling collection services for many other councils.

Councillor Mary Sartin, Environmental Protection Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council is keen to reassure residents who might think their recycling was being mixed up in the new lorries. She said: Residents should continue to separate their dry and garden recycling into the different types of sack, safe in the knowledge that the tremendous levels of recycling being achieved in Epping Forest will continue. It may look as though all the sacks are going into one lorry but they are kept separate within it. Having to send fewer lorries to each address will also be good for the environment.

Councillor Sartin continued: Excellent progress has been made by the refuse service over the last year. We can all be very proud of the terrific levels of recycling now being achieved. Part of the challenge SITA faces is to make further improvements such as the extension of recycling facilities to people living in flats. Our residents have been fantastic in adapting to the new recycling systems. People clearly want to recycle more and I would like to thank everyone for all the extra effort they have made. Epping Forest is a green and beautiful district. By reducing our reliance on landfill rubbish disposal we aim to keep it that way.

New Beverage Carton Recycling Scheme

Written on . Posted in Community, Older people, Recycling and waste, Residents, Uncategorized, Young people, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council, in conjunction with Tetra Pak Ltd and the carton industry body ACE UK (Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment), is launching a new beverage carton recycling scheme. Special wheeled bins are now sited at five recycling sites to give residents the opportunity to recycle even more of their household rubbish.

Each year, UK beverage carton manufacturers produce approximately 55,000 tonnes of paper-based cartons for milk, juice, sauces and other liquid foods / drinks. This equates to around 2.3kg of cartons per household which could be recycled instead of thrown in the rubbish bin. In response, Epping Forest District Council is working with the carton industry to establish carton collection points at key Recycling Centres for residents to take their empty cartons to be recycled.

    Even though cartons still cannot be recycled via the doorstep collection service in the Epping Forest District, the new project means that used cartons can now be recycled through special collection bins at:

  • The Old Station Car Park, Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5BZ
  • Cottis Lane Car Park, Epping, CM16 5DQ
  • Sainsbury`s Car Park, Old Station Road, Loughton, IG10 4PE
  • Short Stay Car Park, High St, Ongar, CM5 9AR
  • Tesco Car Park, Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, END 1EQ

Once collected they will be taken away to be baled and transported to a recycling mill. They can be recycled into a number of different products, ranging from plasterboard liner to high-strength paper bags and envelopes.

Cllr Mary Sartin launches the new beverage carton recycling scheme

Councillor Mrs Mary Sartin Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection, said: Our residents have always responded well to the different recycling schemes we have implemented but we have still got some tough targets to meet, both as a district and as a nation. We are delighted that Tetra Pak and the carton industry are supporting us to help increase the number of cartons recycled in our county and if the initial six-month trial is successful, we`d like to see the project rolled out further.

Richard Hands Environment Manager at Tetra Pak Ltd and Chairman of ACE UK added: Whilst cartons have been successfully recycled in large volumes for many years throughout Europe, the UK has a long way to go. It`s therefore fantastic news that Epping Forest District Council is taking a lead by adding cartons to the list of materials collected for recycling and we very much hope that the initiative is successful. We and our industry partners are committed to increasing the level of carton recycling in the UK with the aim of reaching a national network of carton collection by the end of 2008. Our work with Epping Forest District Council takes us and households in the area one step closer to achieving that.

Since April last year, the UK carton industry has made £1.5million available to help local authorities interested in starting up carton collection schemes in their area. There are already approximately 100 district areas collecting cartons, which will result in a national network of coverage during the next 18 months. The carton industry continues to work with new paper mills to trial carton recycling to ensure the industry can cater for this increase in carton recycling, as more areas come on board.

For more information on beverage carton recycling, visit

Crime Reduction Partners Join Forces for Training Day

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Residents, Your home

Council staff, Housing Association representatives, Police and Police Community Support Officers recently attended a series of one-day courses designed to raise awareness and improve co-ordination between different agencies working to reduce crime.

Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction Co-ordinator Paul Gardener of Epping Forest District Council organised the training days with Tony Ellis and PC Andy Mitson of Essex Police.

Paul Gardener said: The traditional view of crime as a problem for the Police alone no longer holds true. We are now working in a much more organised and co-ordinated way. Housing professionals and PCSOs have a particularly important role in helping to identify and remove the causes of crime and anti-social behaviour. The most important thing is to make sure each partner understands what the others can do to help. For example, that might mean sharing information, providing community support such as activities for young people, or designing out crime by improving street lighting, removing walls or planting shrubs. It can really be as simple as that.

Delegates on the course were taken through a run down of the National Intelligence Model which guides the work of organisations in combating crime. Discussions took place on the use and benefits of Anti-social Behaviour Orders and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, a less well known but often more effective method of encouraging people back into a law abiding way of life.

Paul Gardener explained the role of `Tasking` where problems are identified and a specific set of measures or steps are implemented to reduce or remove crime. PCSOs in particular were offered an insight into Home Security Surveys that will allow them to advise elderly and vulnerable people how to improve personal security in their own homes. Delegates also discussed the way in which organisations such as the Council and Police are currently working together including Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership initiatives.

Councillor Ms Syd Stavrou, Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: These courses are a major step towards developing links and helping each organisation understand how its actions impact upon the work of others. Real examples of the work between Epping Forest District Council and Essex Police were used to illustrate how we can achieve more. There is no doubt that working together we can reduce crime and make tangible improvements to people`s daily lives.

Bobbingworth Tip – the Problem and the Solution

Written on . Posted in Business, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Our countryside, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Trees and landscapes, Your area, Your community, Your environment, Your home

Work begins on Monday 19 March 2007 on the long awaited improvements to Bobbingworth Tip.

For more than ten years in the 1960`s and 70`s the former gravel pit near Ongar was being used as a landfill for domestic rubbish. Although landfill seemed like a cheap and easy solution to rubbish disposal at that time, tips like Bobbingworth have left a legacy of pollution. Now the Council is investing £1.35 million into turning the site into a public asset.

The works now getting under way to clean up the site will create huge underground barriers and drains to help control the flow of water leeching through the refuse. By the end of the project only clean, healthy treated water will flow from the site. The aims of the project is to control the volume of leachate leaving the tip and going into the Thames Water Utilities Ltd sewage works as Epping Forest District Council can be in breach of licence and incur penalties. Native trees and hedgerows will be preserved and enhanced with new planting and landscaping to provide a park for people to walk in and enjoy.

Tips like Bobbingworth pollute the local environment by giving off gases and contributing significantly to global warming. After so many years the gas emissions at Bobbingworth are now falling, but problems remain of pollution escaping as water seeps through the tip and affects land and watercourses around it. The smell of  gas may have faded but the water pollution is clear to see.

Over the course of the building works, a large number of lorries will bring materials to the site for the construction of the various structures and topsoil to cap the site properly. Care is being taken to keep the disturbance to residents caused by these lorries to a minimum.

    To reduce disturbance:

  • Opening times will be restricted:          Monday to Friday 8:00 – 18:00
              Saturday 8:00 – 13:00Note: there will be no operations on Sundays and Public Holidays
  • Low noise plant and equipment with effective silencers that are properly maintained
  • Work on Saturdays (when possible will be conducted away from the site boundaries)
  • On Friday afternoons soil deliveries will stop at 16:00 rather than 16:30
  • A maximum of 90 lorries on any one-day
  • No soil deliveries on Saturdays

The lorries entering and leaving the site will be restricted to a 30mph speed limit. Random checks will be carried out by Veolia (an environmental service) to make sure that the lorries delivering materials to the site are driving properly, and are driving at the right delivery times. Local residents are encouraged to report to Veolia any problems caused by the lorries. On site wheel-cleaning facilities will prevent lorries transferring mud onto clean roads.

    Contact details for Veolia are:

  • Telephone number for Veolia 01277 723 552
  • Or email the Veolia environmental manager