Rage at plans to change glass collection
Livid locals are making their feelings crystal clear after Stirling Council’s glass waste collection system was suddenly changed from two to four weeks.
The public contacted the Observer and took to social media to make their feelings known as the council announced it would no longer empty the blue boxes fortnightly.
Overflowing boxes and the ability of people to carry full containers to collection points were among the issues raised.
One of the main bugbears of those complaining, however, was the council’s claim the change had been made because of “customer feedback”.
The row was further ignited as it was revealed the council had won a COSLA national award for the way it had implemented changes to its waste collection system over
the last year - sparking a raft of comments from incredulous householders.
Officials had briefly mentioned the potential to alter the glass collection timetable at the council’s environment and housing committee on September 14, saying uptake in some areas had been “very poor” and they may want to provide a “less frequent service” in some cases in future.
However, there had been no warning that a blanket change was about to be made.
The first many knew about the change was a post on the council’s website this week which said: “Following customer feedback, the glass collection will move from fortnightly to every four weeks, providing a simpler presentation model for residents.”
Tory group environment spokesperson Councillor Ross Oxburgh said: “This is not acceptable. We have had assurances from the convener at the last environment committee that elected members from all parties would discuss the service and any changes needed.
“We only found out about this change when constituents started contacting us.
“Putting in piecemeal changes without meaningful prior discussion is not the way to do this. That must be acknowledged and our call for a full review heeded by the administration or that recent award made to the service will be undermined.”
Fellow Tory and committee member Councillor Martin Earl added: “There have been a number of changes suggested that could improve the service but I don’t expect them to just be put in place without seeking widespread views from people across the council area and other suggestions being considered.
“This is why we have kept demanding a full review involving the public, community councils and all councillors to discuss sensible changes and consult widely before doing anything. This change should be reversed and only considered as part of that full review.”
However, the council’s environment and housing convener, SNP councillor Jim Thomson, suggested the change would make the system more efficient and environmentally friendly and help address complaints that the streets were cluttered by bins and boxes.
He said: “Customer feedback was gained from compliments, enquiries and the complaints system, as well as community council meetings.
“It has been identified that the glass collection has an overall, low participation level. On the two weekly collection, our staff were finding that often only around 20 per cent of residents were presenting their glass for collection.
“Despite both customers and collection crews reporting that at times only a handful of boxes were presented for uplift in streets, the vehicles still had to drive the collection beats.
“The move to a fourweek system will ensure our collection vehicles are fully optimised, reduce CO2 emissions and present the most efficient, sustainable collection system possible for customers.
“Feedback also included residents commenting there are too many containers presented at any one time.
“The benefit of moving to this new system for glass collection means there will be a simplified presentation model for residents. This will consist of the presentation of two containers on collection day, rather than the current schedule of presenting up to three containers, depending on the collection calendar.
“We continue to review our collection system and always welcome feedback from our communities.”
Anger Bottled up rage over waste collection change erupts