FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

16 February 2021

1. Was an assessment undertaken in the context of the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that the household waste consultation that you ran in December 2020 did not disenfranchise particular groups with protected characteristics such as older people who may not have access to the internet.  If yes, what measures were put in place to ensure that such groups were informed of the upcoming consultation.  If no, what decision process surrounded this?

 

2. Does a potential reduction in collections resulting from a number of residents materially impact upon existing contracts, such as with recycling providers or with the refuse collection company.  If so, what financial penalties are in place, and with whom?

 

3. What are the additional costs/benefits resulting from the following:

(a) the income from the expected uptake of brown bin collections (and what percentage of households do you expect to continue with collections)

(b) the increase in black bin waste collected and the cost of sending that additional waste to landfill or incineration

(c) the increase in dealing with anti-social behaviour such as neighbour disputes over composting smell/burning waste on the property

 

4. I am aware that East Hertfordshire Council rejected the notion of declaring a climate emergency, unlike over 170 other local authorities in 2019, saying instead that "actions speak louder than words".  Have you carried out any assessment into any environmental externalities caused by this policy decision, specifically the carbon costs of the following:

(a) additional road vehicles making specific journeys to household refuse sites to despose of waste

(b) the impact of residents burning waste

(c) the impact of additional garden waste being incinerated or sent to landfill in plastic sacks rather than being dealt with by appropriate composing If this amount totals an increase in carbon, are you planning to offset this, and if so, how?  What is the cost to the taxpayer of such measures?

 

5. Have you had formal discussions with the county council and environment agency on this proposal, specifically in the areas of:

(a) increase in usage of household refuse sites and the anticipated additional cost to council tax of this?

(b) increase in dealing with fly-tipping of green waste, including the dumping of green waste in ditches and drains and the additional cost to the council of this?

(c) increase in police dealing with minor incidents of antisocial behaviour, such as disagreements over use of paid for bins, and trees/branches overhanging neighbouring properties etc.

If so, what is the expected cost to the taxpayer.

 



Customer

16 March 2021

Dear [email protected],

My understanding is that the Freedom of Information Act requires a response to enquiries within 20 working days and that this request is now overdue.

Yours sincerely,

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East Herts Council Response

23 March 2021

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed and the information that we hold is enclosed.

Apologies for the delay

1. Was an assessment undertaken in the context of the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that the household waste consultation that you ran in December 2020 did not disenfranchise particular groups with protected characteristics such as older people who may not have access to the internet.  If yes, what measures were put in place to ensure that such groups were informed of the upcoming consultation.  If no, what decision process surrounded this?

No, an Equalities Impact Assessment was not undertaken for the public consultation, however one was undertaken in relation to the proposed service changes and was published as part of the Council report on 13 January 2021. http://democracy.eastherts.gov.uk/documents/g3901/Public%20reports%20pack%2013th-Jan-2021%2019.00%20Council.pdf?T=10&J=4

At the time it was decided that handling of additional paper consultations may present some additional covid transmission risks and, although paper copies of the consultation were not provided. The Customer Service Team were taking consultation responses over the phone, this was to support residents who did not have access to the internet or who were unable to complete a survey online.

 

2. Does a potential reduction in collections resulting from a number of residents materially impact upon existing contracts, such as with recycling providers or with the refuse collection company.  If so, what financial penalties are in place, and with whom?

The waste collection and street cleansing contract is being varied in accordance with the contract change procedures for this service change and EU procurement rules. There are no financial penalties which impact on this Council.

 

 3. What are the additional costs/benefits resulting from the following:

  1. the income from the expected uptake of brown bin collections (and what percentage of households do you expect to continue with collections)

Detail on costings was provide in the report to Council on 13 January 2021 http://democracy.eastherts.gov.uk/documents/g3901/Public%20reports%20pack%2013th-Jan-2021%2019.00%20Council.pdf?T=10&J=4

  1. the increase in black bin waste collected and the cost of sending that additional waste to landfill or incineration

These costs are unknown and will not be apparent until the service is in operation. They form part of contracts let by Hertfordshire County Council not East Herts Council.

  1. the increase in dealing with anti-social behaviour such as neighbour disputes over composting smell/burning waste on the property

This is unknown, but additional staff resources are not anticipated based on the experiences of other Hertfordshire Councils.

 

4. I am aware that East Hertfordshire Council rejected the notion of declaring a climate emergency, unlike over 170 other local authorities in 2019, saying instead that "actions speak louder than words".  Have you carried out any assessment into any environmental externalities caused by this policy decision, specifically the carbon costs of the following:

Yes, carbon impacts in relation to the change were identified in the Council report on 13 January 2021 and are included in the Councils consideration of its carbon impact and longer term aims to become carbon neutral. http://democracy.eastherts.gov.uk/documents/g3901/Public%20reports%20pack%2013th-Jan-2021%2019.00%20Council.pdf?T=10&J=4

(a) additional road vehicles making specific journeys to household refuse sites to despose of waste

It is not possible to quantify this

(b) the impact of residents burning waste

It is not possible to quantify this

(c) the impact of additional garden waste being incinerated or sent to landfill in plastic sacks rather than being dealt with by appropriate composing If this amount totals an increase in carbon, are you planning to offset this, and if so, how?  What is the cost to the taxpayer of such measures?

 The Council report included details of our Food Waste Prevention and home composting campaign which will aim to assist in offsetting the carbon impacts, along with the reduction in vehicles collecting green waste.

5. Have you had formal discussions with the county council and environment agency on this proposal, specifically in the areas of:

Hertfordshire County Council was consulted and details of their representation are included in the Council report of 13 January 2021. http://democracy.eastherts.gov.uk/documents/g3901/Public%20reports%20pack%2013th-Jan-2021%2019.00%20Council.pdf?T=10&J=4

  1. increase in usage of household refuse sites and the anticipated additional cost to council tax of this?

This was considered the costs are unknown

  1. increase in dealing with fly-tipping of green waste, including the dumping of green waste in ditches and drains and the additional cost to the council of this?

This was considered however experience from neighbouring Hertfordshire Districts did not show a significant increase in fly tipped garden waste following similar changes. The costs are unknown.

  1. increase in police dealing with minor incidents of antisocial behaviour, such as disagreements over use of paid for bins, and trees/branches overhanging neighbouring properties etc.

This is not a problem experienced by neighbouring districts who operate similar chargeable collection schemes.

If so, what is the expected cost to the taxpayer. It is not possible to quantify this

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