Residents are being asked to read important information from Swindon Borough Council regarding potential changes to the day their household waste, recycling and garden waste is collected.
From next Monday (31 October), new waste collection routes will come into force which will affect more than half of Swindon’s 97,000 households.
Waste and recycling collections will remain fortnightly and blue bag collections will continue to operate weekly, but a review of the current routes which has taken into account new housing developments, has identified a number of improvements that can be made to the service.
The Council has written to every household in the borough to outline whether they will be affected by the changes and, if so, has included information about their new collection dates. Every household, regardless of whether they are affected by the changes or not, will receive a calendar with the next few months’ collection dates.
For some households, the collection days for garden waste will no longer be the same as for their refuse and recycling. This is because take-up of the garden waste service is higher in some areas than others resulting in the work needing to be balanced across two days.
The route changes will save the Council around £300k per year by making collections more efficient and will also ensure there is enough capacity to incorporate the new housing developments proposed over the next three years.
Better scheduling of work will also improve the reliability of collections by balancing the workloads across the crews and days.
The letter to residents also includes information about what waste can be recycled, and how they can subscribe to the paid-for green waste service.
Residents who have not seen their letter can check if they are affected by the changes by accessing a postcode checker on the Council’s website – www.swindon.gov.uk/bins
The changes will reduce the number of waste and recycling lorries from 32 to 29 and the new routes have been scheduled to come into effect from the start of November to avoid the busy festive period.
As changes to collections will be no more than three working days from current arrangements, no interim collections will be scheduled. However, support crews will be in operation throughout the changeover to ensure all rounds are covered and any missed bins are emptied as quickly as possible.
A further change is that residents will be advised to put all their waste – refuse, plastics, recycling and green waste – out for 6.30am.
Residents are also being asked to ensure that material is sorted correctly within their recycling boxes or to put items of the same type such as tins, cardboard and glass in separate recycling boxes to help the kerbside crews deal with waste more efficiently.
The Council’s StreetSmart department has invested in the new service by acquiring a new fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles, which come equipped with the latest technology including advanced routing systems, all-round cameras and cyclist detection.
The routing technology will speed up responses to residents’ waste enquiries and ensure that the routes are optimised to reduce distances travelled and avoid collections in high risk areas during peak traffic.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for StreetSmart, said: “Swindon is expanding rapidly so we’ve reviewed our waste and recycling routes to reflect that additional demand and make sure we provide residents with the best service possible.
“The new routes will ensure we provide a more reliable service and we have also invested in a new fleet of refuse vehicles with the latest technology to cut the number of missed collections.
“But we are also appealing to residents to do their bit to help improve the efficiency of the service by putting all their containers out by 6.30am and ensuring they sort their recycling to help our crews spend less time sorting the waste at the kerbside.
“So I would ask residents to check their mail which will have details of all the changes. Anyone who is still not sure whether their collection day is changing should log onto the postcode checker at:www.swindon.gov.uk/bins”