Recommended for approval: Fortnightly bins but weekly collections of recycling and food waste

A change to how kerbside waste and recycling is collected from 2020 has been put forward by members of Cornwall Council’s Neighbourhoods Committee after their meeting Friday. This will now be considered by Cabinet with a final decision expected in February 2018.


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The committee supported a key recommendation for recycling to be collected every week from 2020.

It is also recommended that residents be provided with new kitchen and kerbside containers for food waste which would also be collected weekly.

It is proposed that all other waste that can’t be recycled would be collected every fortnight.

James Sue
Cllr Sue James

On 31 March 2020, the current contract for Waste and Recycling collections,Street and Beach Cleansing Services (currently delivered by Biffa Environmental Municipal Services) will cease, after an 8 year contract period. The new contract is now being designed and the review is looking at what the council wants out of the new contract.

Increasing Cornwall’s poor recycling rate is a key aim.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection Sue James who is leading the review said:  “At the moment our kerbside recycling service collects ‘dry’ recycling such as plastic, cans, glass, paper, cardboard, clothing and pots, tubs and trays every fortnight.  The proposal that Cabinet will be asked to consider at their meeting on 15 November is that we provide residents with new kitchen and kerbside containers so that we can add food waste to the list and that all of this recycling would be collected weekly.

Food waste containers

Evidence from other Local Authorities, 75% of which collect waste that can’t be recycled fortnightly, shows that this could enable Cornwall to rise from its current recycling rate of 35.7% to meet the 2020 50% national recycling target.”

Sue goes onto say: “How we collect waste and recycling directly affects every resident and community but it also affects our environment and there are no simple solutions. The proposals have been informed by evidence from experts across the UK who shared their experience and insights. It is vital that the service which we put in place from 2020 not only meets resident needs and Cornwall’s recycling targets but also provides value for money.”

Following the July Cabinet meeting, the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee commissioned five members to undertake a cross party public inquiry to:


  1. Recommend a preferred option and secondary option for the Waste Collection and Street Cleansing Service Design
  2. Recommend a preferred option for the Waste Collection and Street Cleansing Service Delivery; and
  3. Make appropriate recommendations on any further work required.


The recommendations from the inquiry committee, which heard expert evidence from authorities and professional organisations across the UK, were considered by the Neighbourhood Overview and Scrutiny Committee (NOSC) yesterday (Friday 27/10)


Link to NOSC agenda and papers

The Council is chatting rubbish – How do you want your bins and recycling collected, and what to do about holiday lets?