Scrutiny reviews future plans for waste collection

Merton’s Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel will consider a report on the review of future plans for waste collection services in the borough at its meeting next Thursday 26 May 2011.

The Panel, at the request of Merton’s cabinet, agreed in December to set up a scrutiny task group in order to investigate all aspects of the collection of household waste in the borough, including the proposed use of wheelie bins, and to report back to its May 2011 meeting.

Chaired by Councillor John Sargeant, the task group’s report outlines a number of findings and recommendations for consideration by the Scrutiny Panel. The Panel will decide whether to accept and send these findings forward to Merton’s Cabinet meeting on 20 June, or to request the task group to undertake further work on service and financial modelling and report back to the Panel at a later date.

Councillor John Sargeant, Scrutiny’s chair of the cross-party task group said “I would like to thank all my task group colleagues for their hard work on this report.

“Waste collection is one of the most visible, and sometimes most contentious, services the council provides. With the prospect of further spending cuts and the national imperative to ramp up recycling, it’s a service we have to get right for today and the future.

“Critically, the Task Group recommends that at this time the Council continues to collect landfill waste from plastic sacks and provides boxes for the collection of dry recyclables. It has also made a number of important observations, including the need for targeted communications to the public, promoting the re-use of household items to reduce waste and the particular challenge of raising recycling rates in flats.”

Councillor Andrew Judge, Cabinet Member for environmental sustainability and regeneration said: ‘We are pleased to receive this report which highlights the work the cross party group has undertaken so far.

“In the light of the challenging financial circumstances for the council and the need to significantly increase recycling, we believe that this study would benefit from further in depth analysis and evidence gathering so that we can make the right decisions for Merton, not just for today but for the future.’

To read the full report visit: