Wyre Council serves a local population of over 100,000 in the area north of Blackpool. Serving 49,000 properties, Wyre Council is one of the boroughs in the Lancashire County Council area.
Local authority spending has reduced by a fifth since 2010. Wyre Council is part of a waste services cost-sharing agreement with Lancashire County Council and the other boroughs in the county. This is due to expire in 2018 and will result in a £980,000 reduction in waste and recycling services funding for Wyre Council.
In response to ongoing central government grant reductions, the Council decided to introduce a charged-for green waste collection service, having provided a free food and garden waste collection service since 1999.
Veolia worked closely with the Council to develop an in-depth awareness campaign prior to the launch of the services, informing residents of the change to a charged-for green waste only service. The campaign included online communication and a leaflet mailed to properties which achieved a sign up rate of 80% - more than double the Council’s expectations.
Free batteries and small WEEE collections were also introduced to reduce any negative perceptions related to the introduction of the charged-for service.
Veolia used in-cab vehicle technology to inform crews of green waste service subscribers and bin labels were used to educate non-subscribers, further driving subscriptions. Batteries and small WEEE are collected in bags at the kerbside and stored in underslung cages on the collection vehicles.
The smooth service introduction and excellent results are a result of the close partnership between Wyre Council and Veolia. This has effectively cut the deficit by 70%.