Agenda item


            The Director highlighted of the following initiatives that the Council currently undertook to try and address missed bin collections:


        Site specific work with bin crews, Elected Members and DfI to try and resolve access issues. Over the last year there had been 35 site visits involving DfI;


        Building up a data driven approach to restricted access using the Report It App to identify key areas of focus;


        one 18 tonne vehicle dedicated to collections in streets with restricted access. Noted that this approach had a 96.5% first time success rate and that a detailed study had been commissioned to identify the opportunity for additional restricted access vehicles. This would review street and households by waste stream, the likely success rate and the costs and benefits of proposals. The report on this data was due in May and would be presented to the Committee; and


        Benchmarking what other cities did and if there were any innovative ideas for collecting from restricted access streets that could compliment narrow vehicles or provide other alternative solutions including common collection points.


            At this stage in the proceedings Sergeant Bannerman addressed the Committee and provided an overview on the enforcement powers under the 2016 Traffic Management Order from the perspective of both the PSNI and DfI.  She advised that figures for the period September to November 2022 showed the following fixed fine penalties had been issued per geographical area - 76 tickets in South, 25 in East, 11 in West and 4 in North. 


            Members discussed the variances across the areas, the PSNI representative explained that, whilst enforcement and fixed penalty notices did have a role to play in some circumstances, a blanket approach to enforcement was not appropriate for all areas across the city.  She stated that certain areas, due to the dangers, of bad parking required a more targeted approach than others to try and address the problems.


            The PSNI representative continued that enforcement was not the preferred option, she advised that the PSNI and the DfI were keen to try and educate road users and with this in mind had carried out several joint initiatives with the DfI.  She detailed that these initiatives had included increased social media posts across the various platforms and leaflets being placed on vehicles explaining the result of badly parking their vehicles on other users.  She showed examples of the leaflets and undertook to forward copies of the leaflets for circulation to the Members.


            Detailed discussion ensued during which the following issues were discussed/highlighted:


·        the possibility of using an App, texts or e-mails to alert people of missed collections and changes to collection times; 


·        noted that clarity was being sought from Legal Services in respect of people leaving bins in an obstructive manner and who was liable in the event of an accident;


·        the distribution of green bags;


·        the need for potentially additional 18 tonne vehicles to be added to the fleet;


·        the need for people the return bins to their properties following collection as the bins were causing obstructions at collection points.  Consideration of whether a fourth crew member was required in more areas to pull the bins out and return them.  Officers agreed to consider this as part of the ongoing consultancy work;


·        noted that unfortunately car ownership was increasing rather than decreasing and that proper infrastructure was required to try and encourage people to use other modes of transport;

·        noted that the Neighbourhood Teams would know the specific problems in their own geographical areas and should be involved when considering potential approaches;


·        noted the need for a more digital based reporting culture and the need to share information across the various stakeholders in Real Time;


·        discussed the problems with unadopted roads, laneways and alleyways; and


·        discussed the desire to see a glass recycling scheme similar to that of North Down and Ards Council.


            The Chairperson suggested that a pilot could be undertaken which would take five of the most routinely missed streets for each area and that a focused campaign could be undertaken in each of these areas to try and target the ongoing issues.  The outworking of the pilot could then be adapted for other areas as it was noted that a blanket approach did not fit all areas.


            Officers agreed that this would be a useful exercise and agreed to bring a report back identifying the proposed areas for the target.  The Director highlighted that to progress this pilot would require the participation of both the PSNI and DfI. 


            It was also agreed that officers would seek clarification from DfI on its enforcement data over the previous twelve-month period. 


            The Chairperson thanked the Sergeant Bannerman and the Members for their input and the meeting ended.