Council Apologises for Waste Collection Delays

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

Porfolio Holder for Environment Councillor Mary Sartin said: The Council is very sorry for the difficulties which have arisen during the period 22 December 2009 through Christmas and the New Year period.

All services were seriously affected by the snow, which fell immediately before the Christmas break, and the very icy conditions which then followed. A number of areas within the district were impassable to the refuse freighters and crews due to the very dangerous condition of the roads and the pavements. These difficulties were made worse by access to all of the tipping sites (landfill and recycling) being restricted resulting in freighters not being able to discharge all their loads on the day of collection and then having to queue with those from other Local Authorities before they could start their rounds the following day.

The last few days` very cold conditions have also affected the electronics and hydraulics on the refuse freighters and where this has caused wheelie bin lifts to fail, collections have been further delayed.

Weather-related disruption brought Epping High Street to a standstill

These weather-related disruptions, combined with the normal Christmas collection arrangements have caused considerable confusion and difficulties for residents and in some instances long delays between collections. However, since the food and garden waste service is a weekly one, all collections have now been caught up.

The dry recycling and residual waste service suffered greater disruption because of their fortnightly nature and it is the case that some residents have not had a collection for approaching four weeks. However, given that food waste is collected on a weekly basis, the main difficulty for most residents will have been the amount of dry recycling and other waste which need to be stored ahead of the delayed collection date. Where we have been aware of some residents` special needs, individual collections have been made to assist those individuals / families. However, it is hoped that all these missed collections will also have been caught up by the end of this week.

The Council has suspended its normal rules on the putting out of side waste and will take away all waste put out for collection until the backlog has been cleared. Residents are reminded that dry recycling (including glass) can be put out in any container (except a black plastic sack) and the crews will collect it. Christmas trees will also be collected as part of the food and garden service, provided that they are not taller than, or have been cut down into pieces of, not more than four feet (1.2 metres). Residents are requested to continue to separate their recycling as this is particularly important at this time of year due to the volumes of glass, plastic and paper packaging in the waste stream.

Councillor Sartin concluded: The past few weeks have seen an unfortunate combination of snow, ice and the normal changes to collection frequencies over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. The Council`s Waste Officers and Sita`s collection crews have done their very best to maintain services under very difficult, and sometimes very dangerous, circumstances.”

As is normal following difficulties such as these, the Council and its contractors Sita, will review the circumstances and the actions taken, to determine whether anything else could have been done to minimise the disruption and what, if anything, needs to be put into place to deal with similar circumstances in the future.

Record Recycling and Fire Safety Discussed at Council

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Democracy, Meetings, Recycling and waste, Your council, Your home

Increased recycling, council housing fire safety in communal areas, accord to support local businesses and cutting carbon emissions were all on the agenda at the meeting of Full Council on 3 November 2009.

Record Recycling

Councillor Diana Collins, Leader of Epping Forest District Council, presented a short summary of the latest increase in recycling. Figures for the first three weeks of the new domestic recycling services have exceeded expectations with residents boosting monthly levels to around 60 per cent. Should this trend continue, recycling levels for the year could reach 47 per cent with subsequent years potentially reaching 50 per cent.

Equally encouraging has been the 28 per cent reduction in the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. In the written report to Council, Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Mary Sartin thanked residents for embracing the new recycling services so wholeheartedly.

Fire Precautions – Communal Areas of Council Flats

A petition by tenants of Torrington Drive, Loughton is to be considered by Members of the Housing Scrutiny Panel. Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council, told the meeting of Full Council on 3 November that he would decide what response to make after receiving the Panel`s views.

Torrington Drive tenants submitted the petition in response to letters issued by the Council in relation to Health and Safety in communal areas of flats. The Council has asked tenants to ensure they do not leave personal items in communal areas which could obstruct their escape in an emergency. Although the District Council carries out regular routine inspections, the latest request comes soon after a Ministerial report into the Camberwell fire in London earlier this year in which six tenants died.

Councillor Stallan said: The health and safety of our tenants is our top priority. None of us would do anything to compromise the safety of our tenants. However, I have received feedback from several Councillors and tenants who want us to look at the policy in detail and therefore informed the Council of my intention to ask the Housing Panel to look at the issue. The Panel should be able to report back to me with recommendations in the next month or two. In the meantime, we have an obligation to ensure we do all we can to keep escape routes clear and will continue to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of our tenants.

Small Business Accord

The Chairman of the Essex Federation of Small Businesses has signed an accord with Epping Forest District Council to support local commerce. Council Chairman Councillor Penny Smith and Business Champion Councillor Chris Whitbread signed the accord on behalf of the Council.

Councillors then went on to support motions asking the Government to review its actions in raising the National Non-Domestic Business Rate locally. They called upon the Government to reduce the multiplier to the greatest possible extent and at least 20 per cent, increase transitional relief so that no business sees its bill increase by more than 2.5 per cent between the current and the new financial years and doubling the limit that restricts entitlement to small business rate relief.

Councillors also supported the case of Buckhurst Hill businesses which had been particularly affected by the latest business rate increases. Members voted to invite the District Valuation Officer to explain his actions to Overview and Scrutiny.

10:10 – Cutting the Council`s Carbon Emissions

Councillors agreed steps to cut carbon emissions by 10 per cent by 2010. The Council supported the 10:10 campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to encourage other individuals, businesses and organisations to do likewise.

 

Food and Garden Waste Wheelie Bins

Written on . Posted in Community, Conservation and listed buildings, Countrycare, Our countryside, Recycling and waste, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Green lidded wheelie bin for food and garden waste and black wheelie bin for non-recyclable waste

Following the introduction of new food and garden waste wheelie bins by Epping Forest District Council some residents with very large gardens have expressed concerns about the amount of their garden waste they will be able to recycle using the new bins.

One of the most important factors the Council considered in developing the new system was the need to reduce the total amount of waste being collected. Although the food and garden wheelie bin only holds the equivalent of four or five of the former sacks, unlike the old sacks system, the food and garden waste will be collected weekly. In the vast majority of cases this should be sufficient, especially where residents are also composting waste at home and storing the garden waste to allow it to dry out and reduce in weight and volume.

The Green lidded wheelie bin is for food and garden waste and the black wheelie bin is for non-recyclable waste.

However, the Council recognises that there may be exceptional circumstances where a second wheelie bin is appropriate, and therefore at the Cabinet meeting on the 7 September 2009 Councillors looked again at the particular problems of a small number of residents who have very large gardens and agreed that in these exceptional circumstances a second food and garden wheelie bin might be made available, following an individual assessment.

People who think they might qualify for a second wheelie bin will need to talk to the Council first to make sure other options, such as garden composting and storage of garden waste have also been considered.

In addition, the Council will consider, again on an individual basis, providing a garden wheelie bin to residents in flats who are currently maintaining garden areas themselves and who wish to continue to do so. This will enable residents to continue to keep their surroundings tidy and ensure that garden waste is recycled.

Recycling Initiatives at Epping Forest Schools

Written on . Posted in Community, Countrycare, Our countryside, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

 

Epping Forest District Council is helping to boost its already excellent recycling levels by offering schools across the district the opportunity to take advantage of free recycling facilities. Recycling will enable schools to reduce the waste they produce by more than 70% and cut the cost of their waste collection, making money available for other budgets.

Most schools typically recycle paper from their classrooms and offices. Some also recycle cans and glass. Every classroom/office taking part in the scheme has a blue box identical to those provided by the Council to all households across the district, enabling children to make the link between recycling in school and at home.

Portfolio Holder for the Environment Councillor Mary Sartin said: Learning about waste management can be a valuable source of education, linking directly to both Citizenship and Education for Sustainable Development. Recycling projects also provide an opportunity for the entire school to work together as a team.

Schools are able to develop their pupils` knowledge and understanding of such issues, preparing them to make informed choices in the future, which will no doubt influence how rubbish is tackled in the future.

If your school, or playschool/nursery is not yet using Epping Forest District Council`s recycling service, please phone 01992 564608.

New ‘Slimmed-Down’ Cabinet Meets

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Housing, Parking, Recycling and waste, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

News and video from the first Cabinet meeting of the new Council year including the announcement of the new slimmed-down Cabinet, parking on Council estates and recycling among others.

New Cabinet

Business resumed for District Councillors at the Cabinet meeting of Epping Forest District Council on Monday 8 June 2009 following last week`s County and European Elections. It was the first meeting of the new slimmed-down Cabinet following its reduction from nine to eight members at the Annual Council meeting in May.

    The new Cabinet comprises:

  • Councillor Di Collins – Leader of the Council
  • Councillor Chris Whitbread – Finance and Economic Development
  • Councillor Richard Bassett – Performance Management
  • Councillor Mitch Cohen – Legal and Estates
  • Councillor Heather Harding – Leisure and Wellbeing
  • Councillor Mary Sartin – Environment
  • Councillor David Stallan – Housing
  • Councillor Syd Stavrou – Community Safety and Transport

Councillor Mitch Cohen briefed members on the impact of the recession on local businesses following a meeting with business tenants. Epping Forest District Council is taking steps to assist local businesses. Councillor Richard Morgan, Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny briefly outlined the latest work of his committee including public consultation on the format of the Forester and local calls for free Tube travel into London for residents of pensionable age.

Cabinet went on to discuss the issue of free Tube travel with members expressing concern about the potential cost to the Council. Councillor Richard Bassett, Performance Management Portfolio Holder listened to the views of councillors. While free travel proved not to be a viable option, Councillor Bassett noted that older residents could still travel very cheaply using the Oyster Card and gave a commitment to publicise it within the Forester.

Church Hill Car Park

A proposal by Councillor Mitch Cohen, Legal and Estates Portfolio Holder to market Church Hill Car Park, Loughton for retail development was agreed. Councillor Cohen received approval to market the site for freehold sale or long lease agreement and report back to Cabinet on the outcome. Affordable housing could be incorporated into a scheme.

Parking on Council Estates

Cabinet endorsed a flexible approach to tackling unauthorised parking on its housing estates. Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder received support for enforcement on an ad hoc basis in conjunction with local consultation and good management of parking areas. Where problems persisted and local residents complained, methods of controlling unauthorised parking could include the installation of jockey rails and shrubs.

Recycling

Extension of door step recycling collection services has led to a decline in use of local recycling points. Cabinet agreed to remove 26 local points saving £10,000 a year but to retain 21 District Recycling Centres. Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Mary Sartin indicated that some of the savings could be used to extend textile recycling.

In response to a question, Councillor Sartin confirmed that recycling services are being extended to households living in flats.

Epping Forest College Recycling

Written on . Posted in Community, Epping, Recycling and waste, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

Councillors and student ambassadors for recycling

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council is delighted at the opportunity of working together with Epping College to introduce recycling in the new £38m College campus.

During a recent visit to the college the Leader of the Council Councillor Diana Collins and the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services Councillor Mary Sartin were introduced to the recycling scheme within the college by the students of the Green Group, formed to champion environmental action starting with recycling.

Epping Forest District Council was able to assist the college in their recycling initiatives by extending the recycling services to the College.

Councillor Diana Collins said: I am pleased that we have been able to assist the college in introducing the new recycling scheme. This will enable those already recycling at home to continue their good habits in the College whilst also encouraging those who discover recycling at College to spread the word.

The Green Group has plans for recycling expansion and is already talking about collecting unwanted clothes from fellow students and staff.

Councillors, staff and students with the new recycling bins

The new scheme was launched as part of Positive Contribution Week at the College. Students from the Green Group have acted as ambassadors for recycling – wearing distinctive t-shirts they have been setting a good example and actively encouraging others to recycle their cans, paper, card and plastic bottles.

They have also manned stands in the College explaining the benefits of recycling, demonstrating the items that can be recycled, and giving away recycled pencils, pens, bags, mugs and other goodies as well as booklets with tips for further ways to recycle “ all provided by the Council.

The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services Councillor Mary Sartin said: I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work of the students. This is very encouraging and shows that our younger generation is keen to tackle the issues that affect our future.

Severe Weather Update – 3 February

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, Meetings, Recycling and waste, Your council, Your home

Most Epping Forest District Council services are returning to normal after the heavy snow that brought many roads to a standstill on Monday. However, the severe weather is continuing to affect some services.

Refuse and recycling collections are suspended for a second day due to ice on many residential roads. Some disposal sites are also closed. Special collections have also been cancelled and residents will be notified of new arrangements.

A revised domestic refuse and recycling schedule will be published later today.

Today`s scheduled evening meetings of the Epping Forest District Youth Council and District Development Control Committee are cancelled. Revised dates are:

Youth Council Tuesday 10 February at 7.30pm.

District Development Control Committee a new meeting date will be published in due course

A number of daytime meetings may also be disrupted. Anyone visiting the Council today is advised to phone first and check that your meeting is going ahead.

Sports and Leisure Centres operated for the Council by SLM (Sports and Leisure Management Limited) are open although residents are again advised to phone first and check before attending special classes or activities. `All Angels` and `All Saints` Urban Street Dance classes at St Michael and All Angel’s Church Hall, Roding Road, Loughton, IG10 3EJ “ scheduled for 5:30pm and 6:30pm have been cancelled.

Aviation is suspended at North Weald Airfield. Motoring activities have also been suspended due to the icy conditions. However, other commercial activities are unaffected and the Airfield is open to tenants and those delivering to their premises.

Council Offices are open.

Severe Weather Limited Disruption to Services

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, Recycling and waste, Your council, Your home

Domestic Refuse and recycling arrangements remain disrupted due to the icy weather and hazardous road conditions.

John Gilbert, Director of Environment and Street Scene said: The situation is being kept under review and collections will start as soon as it is safe to do so. I am sorry for the inconvenience. Please keep an eye on the Council website where we will post the latest information as soon as it becomes available.

Meanwhile, all of the district street cleansing crews are assisting Essex County Council by being reassigned to gritting and clearing pavements in the main town centres and other locations.

Essex County Council has also warned residents that Recycling Centres for Household Waste may also need to be closed at short notice. A county council statement says: Recycling Centres may be closed (or have to close) at short notice if it is felt that it is unsafe to operate the centre (ie. surfaces too slippery to allow safe access to public and contractors). Before making a visit to a recycling centre residents should call the Waste and Recycling Helpline on 0845 603 7625 for an update on the situation or save their visit for another day.

Recycling Consultation Reminder

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

Epping Forest District Council is reminding all residents that the chance to have their say about how they recycle is approaching its deadline. The closing date for completing the waste and recycling service questionnaire is 24 October 2008.

The survey is included in the autumn edition of the Forester and can be completed online.

You could win £100 cash prize or a home composter if you include your home address details when completing the questionnaire. Questionnaires should be returned to Environment and Street Scene, Epping Forest District Council, Freepost CL3360, Epping, CM16 4YA (no need for a stamp).

Collection of wheelie bin residual waste

However, the Council has been made aware of Royal Mail distribution difficulties with this issue and so some properties may not have received a copy. If this is the case, they are available from the Council`s Information Desks or by calling 01992 564140.

The questionnaire invites everyone to express their views on the Council`s current waste and recycling service and outlines three proposed options for change. Changing the service is necessary to enable the District to recycle more and reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill. The Council will take all comments and ideas into consideration when developing the new service.

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.