Decision details

Management of waste & cleansing services in Christchurch from April 2020.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Approval of interim arrangements for waste services within the Christchurch area of BCP from 1 April 2020



(a)         Christchurch’s waste & cleansing services are managed by BCP directly from 1 April 2020

(b)        An interim solution (Option 3) is introduced from 1 April 2020 where by BCP operate Christchurch’s waste & collection services in line with the current Dorset Council collection model, except for mixing glass with other dry recyclables in the recycling bin.

(c)         Officers are authorised to complete a strategic review of existing waste & cleansing services across BCP to develop our future waste strategy and uniform collection methodology in line with the Government’s Waste Strategy, ‘Our Waste, Our Resources: A strategy for England’ and subsequence legislation scheduled for 2023.

Voting: Unanimous

Portfolio Holder: Environment and Climate Change


From 1 April 2020, waste & cleansing services in Christchurch must continue with minimal disruption for residents.

It is therefore recommended to continue a fortnightly collection of residual waste, weekly collection of food waste and a fortnightly collection of garden waste. However, in line with recycling collections in Poole and Bournemouth, residents in Christchurch would present all mixed recycling (including glass) in their recycling bin for fortnightly collection rather than sorting glass in a separate kerbside box.

This collection methodology offers a simpler collection with fewer containers, less lifting and an enhanced recycling offer for Christchurch residents as additional materials such as foil and cartons can also be included in the recycling bin, aligning with the recycling service in Bournemouth and Poole. To ensure a smooth transition, the current Dorset Council operational staff will be transferred to BCP on 1 April 2020 and will continue to operate their current collection rounds.

This interim solution offers consistency, steps towards parity for Christchurch residents and future-proofs service delivery, allowing sufficient time for the development of the Government’s new waste strategy, subsequent consultations and legislation (requiring compliance by 2023), which will influence BCP’s local waste strategy and uniform collection methodology.

The net financial benefit of operating a mixed recycling collection service in Christchurch (Option 3) is £342k per annum, £2.39m over 7 years (vehicle lifespan).

In all options considered, the collected glass is recycled in the UK, usually as an aggregate that replaces sand in road or building construction.

With Option 3, fewer waste collection vehicles will be used as glass and other recyclables will be collected on the same vehicle. New collection vehicles will contain more efficient Euro 6 engines. Both these factors will reduce emissions of carbon and other pollutants that contribute to local air pollution and climate change globally.

Both Bournemouth & Poole Councils have operated comingled recycling collections since 2006. The collected recycling is sorted at a highly technical Material Recovery Facility (MRF), using the latest separation technology to ensure the quality of the end materials.

Comingled recycling collections provide a safer working environment for staff. A recent study by University of Greenwich and Glasgow Caledonian University published by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) advises that Local Authorities should discontinue ‘box type’ collections for waste and recycling as a matter of urgency, in favour of wheeled bins, on the grounds of the significantly increased musculoskeletal disorders found among workers on box, basket and sack collections.

There are also significant noise issues associated with separate glass collections for both residents and staff with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advising Councils should look to eliminate or reduce the risks from noise for separate glass by using alternate collection methodologies.

Report author: Ian Poultney

Publication date: 03/10/2019

Date of decision: 30/09/2019

Decided at meeting: 30/09/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 11/10/2019

Accompanying Documents: