2,629 people responded to a survey on possible changes to your waste and recycling collections when a new contract starts in August 2020.
A full report on the findings and feedback from a series of community forums in September will go to a full meeting of the District Council on 29 November, when councillors will decide on the preferred option.
Immediately following that meeting, work will begin drafting the tender specification for the new waste and recycling contract.
Results from the survey, which attracted the highest response of any online questionnaire conducted by the District Council, can be viewed here. Headlines include:
- 97% of people think recycling is important
- 83% of blue bins are 75% full or more
- 94% of card and paper inserts are full
- 66% use food waste weekly
- 41% of people’s grey bin is not full
- 59% of grey bins full each week
Since 2012 the waste collection service has been delivered by Serco on behalf of the District Council. In advance of the contract ending in 2020, the council will begin soon the process of tendering for a new contract. This involves the investigation of a range of potential service options.
The current waste collection contract costs the District Council approximately £1.9 million per year, but the figure could rise significantly.
A District Council spokesperson said: "First, we want to say we are very grateful to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. The results really help us understand which aspects of the current waste and recycling collection scheme are most important to local residents.
"A lot of people asked us why there was no option in the survey to keep things as they are. The answer is that while we aren't ruling out maintaining what is regarded as the best service of its kind in Derbyshire, we have to be realistic. We have tested the market and it looks extremely unlikely that we will be able to afford to offer residents a like-for-like service from August 2020.
"The biggest issues are increased service delivery costs, changes in the value of recyclable material and the level of liability bidders are likely to accept.
"Had we included a 'no change' option on the survey we know the vast majority of our residents would have ticked that box and would not have been encouraged to say what they thought about possible alternatives. In short, we didn't want to set false expectations."
Successive central government grant cuts - including a further £611,000 reduction for 2018/19 - mean the District Council needs more money to continue to provide frontline services.
The level of government grant the authority receives will have reduced from £3.5m in 2013/14 to £0.5m by 2020/21. So even after making substantial savings in recent times, the District Council has to find additional ongoing savings of £700,000 over the next three years.
To help local people understand the background to the waste and recycling contract process, the District Council has prepared a list of FAQs at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/wastereviewFAQs
The FAQs explain that, on average, waste and recycling collections currently cost Dales householders £34.63 per household a year - that's just under 67p a week - and that Dales residents recycle or compost 57% of their waste. Although this figure is the best performance in Derbyshire, the UK is likely to have a legislative target to meet 65% recycling in the future.