Future of community composting sites in South Gloucestershire

The council is considering the future of the three community composting sites at Thornbury, Hawkesbury Upton and Shire Way in Yate.

Four community composting sites were set up in 2004 to provide people with a local “grass roots” service to dispose of and process garden waste whilst promoting recycling and raising environmental awareness. The sites were also expected to provide a community focus, bringing people together as volunteer groups with broad gardening and environmental interests and providing some outdoor exercise. A fourth site in Patchway site was closed down last year due to consistent and considerable flytipping.

All of the services associated with community composting cost the council in excess of £100,000 per year. The current operating model is no longer financially sustainable and the council is consulting interested parties on the future options for this service.

 

Why change?

The council as part of its savings programme is looking at all discretionary services that savings can be made from. As a result, the community composting service has been given a savings target of £130,000 to make by April 2015.

Before 2014, waste was processed at the council’s Broad lane depot but due to staff relocations and restructuring, the site is no longer able to accommodate the processing of green waste.  Some of the equipment used to process garden waste for the community composting service is reaching the end of its life and to replace it would cost in the region of £90,000. No funds have been allocated for either the site relocation or to replace the equipment which would require a robust business case to justify the level of investment.

With the Broad Lane site no longer available, all of the green waste now has to be transported out of county involving a 60 mile round trip, increasing our costs for transporting and processing this waste.

The table below outlines the operational cost to continue the service at the current level. This does not include any funding to invest in a new site or to replace ageing equipment or gate fees.

 

Community composting budget breakdown 2014/15

 

Employee cost

£50,500

Vehicle cost

£57,800

Fuel and   maintenance

£28,600

Supplies and   services

£6,000

External   processing and transport cost

£18,750

Predicted   income

-£5,195

Total

£156,455

 

Each site is managed by a group of local volunteers and across the three sites they have mixed levels of success and volunteer capacity is an issue. The sites are now merely transfer stations for green waste that from time to time exceed the sites licenced tonnage limits. Site abuse is a particular problem at Shireway where it costs the council a lot of money to deal with flytipping. All of the sites suffer from the commercial tipping of green waste from local businesses which is hard to manage. This effectively means that the council are subsidising commercial businesses waste disposal.

Currently all community composting sites are run through the Environment Agency exemption scheme. This exemption licence places restrictions on the amount of green waste and composted material allowed on each site. As the current operating model has moved away from the principles of the exemption and the amount of waste increases, there is a risk that the council could breach its licence.

 

The proposals

To deliver this savings target the council is considering the following options:

  • Close down the current sites and support any groups that wish to continue the service under their own management and funding
  • Keep some sites open and close others. This would also involve finding additional savings from other service areas
  • Keep the sites open and make savings from other service areas

Local people are able to dispose of their green waste by taking it to a local Sort It Centre at Yate, Thornbury, Mangotsfield and Stoke Gifford. Alternatively they can subscribe to the garden waste collection service or home compost.

Important update 25 June 2014

Following the start of the consultation, the council has received a letter from Shireway Community Association who host the community composting facility in the community centre car park, giving the council formal notice to leave the site. As a result it is likely that the community composting facilities will be closed down shortly.

Further information and answers to questions we have already received via the consultation is available on our FAQ page

Find out more and have your say

If you would like further information, have any queries or wish to comment on these proposals, please contact:

Email: Consultation@southglos.gov.uk

Write to: FREEPOST RTCT-JXLE-EET, South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Research and Consultation Team, Community Composting Site Consultation, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BRISTOL, BS15 9TR

Phone: 01454 868154

This consultation is open from 19 June until 1 August 2014

This consultation has now closed and we are analysing the results, which will be published here in due course.

Timeline

  • Opened
    19 Jun 2014 at 00:00
  • Closed
    1 Aug 2014 at 23:59
  • Response Published

Details

Consultation Topic Environment, Spending and budget
Geographical area Cotswold Edge, Dodington, Thornbury North, Thornbury South and Alveston, Yate Central, Yate North
Marking a consultation as relevant to a particular audience indicates that it may be of special relevance to people within that group. It doesn't, however, mean that other groups wont find the consultation of interest - we welcome responses from everybody.
For example, education issues may be of particular interest to Parents & Guardians, and so will be shown to people searching the system for parenting issues, but the views of others (eg: Business, Faith Groups) are also relevant.
Target Audience All residents, Councillors / MPs / MEPs, General public, Town and Parish Councils, Voluntary and community groups / organisations
Contact Details

If you would like further information, have any queries or wish to comment on these proposals, please contact:

Email: Consultation@southglos.gov.uk

Write to: FREEPOST RTCT-JXLE-EET, South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Research and Consultation Team, Community Composting Site Consultation, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BRISTOL, BS15 9TR

Phone: 01454 868154