CHANGES to some features of the waste collection service in Cambridge could help cut morning rush-hour traffic and generate savings for Cambridge City Council.
Monthly green bin collections will now be introduced in Cambridge for three months during the winter, as is already the case in South Cambridgeshire.
Cambridge waste collection crews are also now starting their collections earlier, from around 6.30am, as already happens in the South Cambridgeshire District Council area.
The changes are being introduced by the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, to make the service provided for residents of Cambridge and the South Cambridgeshire area consistent across the whole area.
Currently, Cambridge residents receive fortnightly green bin collections throughout the year, including in winter when demand for the service falls significantly.
The amount of garden waste left out by Cambridge residents for collection drops by around 60% between December and February. Under the new arrangement, green bins from Cambridge residents will be collected on a monthly basis during December, January and February from later this year.
When the same change was made in South Cambridgeshire in 2014, there was no impact on the overall amount of garden waste being recycled, but it did lead to fewer emissions from waste collection vehicles and to savings for Council Tax-payers.
The second change has seen waste crews start collecting bins from around 6.30am in Cambridge rather than from 7am. This brings the starting time for the city in line with that of South Cambridgeshire, with refuse vehicles leaving the Waterbeach depot at 6am.
This change means fewer refuse vehicles leave the Waste Service depot on the A10 at Waterbeach during the peak morning rush hour. The earlier start time in Cambridge was trialled earlier this summer with the support of bin crews, and no complaints were received from residents.
Since the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service began waste collections in February 2017, work has been done to line up many policies and back-office functions to help ensure it operates as efficiently as possible. The service recycles around 50% of all waste collected across Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, and, according to latest figures, collects 99.7% of all bins on time.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre, said: “The changes to introduce three monthly green bin collections in winter, and earlier start times in Cambridge, are further ways in which the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service is looking to provide a more consistent, more efficient and better service for residents.
“By starting earlier and reducing the green bin collections in the coldest months we will also be able to save on fuel and reduce emissions from our vehicles by cutting down on the number of journeys we need to make.”