A MAJOR upheaval in the collection of commercial waste at Henley is proposed to help fight climate change.
The downtown businesses currently employ about ten different subcontractors, but now one company offers to take care of all the collections.
Grundon devised a waste management strategy that he said would reduce the number of garbage trucks entering the city and increase the amount of recycling.
He says piles of unsightly garbage would no longer be left on the streets for long periods of time because businesses would have a two-hour collection window.
The Ewelme-based company is also proposing to set up trash cans around town, which would eventually mean there would be no need for bags outside stores and offices.
These could be used by residents and businesses and would work by card to discourage tipping.
The Grundon report states: “Businesses in downtown Henley have their waste collected by around 10 waste management companies. Collections are not coordinated with the vehicles present daily to collect in all or certain establishments.
“Waste streams vary by type of business, but include residual (non-recyclable) waste, recyclables and cardboard, food and glass and are collected by separate vehicles.
“This equates to 40 different vehicle movements per day, not counting collections made by the South Oxfordshire District Council for street cleaning and domestic collections.
“Many of these vehicles are based outside the region, traveling from London, Berkshire, Hampshire and beyond.
“The waste streams are collected in a range of containers, mainly bags and wheeled bins, with a wide collection window. These bags and containers can be left on the street for long periods of time, including overnight, posing a significant risk to public health.
“Garbage left on the streets is washed away by inclement weather, which has an impact on the visual aesthetics of the city and causes a nuisance for pedestrians.”
Grundon offers to collect general waste Monday through Saturday, mixed recycling, cardboard, food and glass on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and paper cups on Tuesday.
The company says its proposal should be enforced by city council and suggests employing an agent to ensure the rules are followed.
The report was commissioned by former Mayor Barry Wood and Councilors David Eggleton and Will Hamilton, who organized the Henley Wombles waste collection initiative.
Mr Wood said he first became aware of the waste collection issues when he informed the owners of the new Bijan’s Kitchen restaurant in Market Place. He said: “We have a fragmented waste collection system that is unsuitable for the 21st century and not robust against the coronavirus pandemic or pests.
“What we need is a contractor for commercial waste in the city.
“We have all these heavyweights coming in, which would be less if there was only one contractor.
“Leaving garbage on the sidewalks is technically a tipping point and we are a tourist town. We tolerate garbage and rubbish being left overnight when children coming out of pubs can throw it away at their leisure.
“Rubbish is staining our highly prized and expensive York Stone, which I helped put in place, and it’s a shame.
“I want to introduce a system that we can market to tourists, saying we’re the best in Oxfordshire when it comes to collecting commercial waste.
“There is a strong correlation between garbage collection and the appearance of a city and crime. It looks pretty grimy, but if we get turned on we can make it better. “
Mr Wood, who was mayor in 2007, is backing the idea of the bin sets, which would be built of brick with a wood cladding and cost between £ 30,000 and £ 55,000. Each could store 44 containers of 1,100 liters.
One of the proposed sites for a complex is Tuns Lane, which currently houses commercial and residential ferries for businesses and residents of Duke Street.
Mr Wood said: “I am very keen to have these collection sites.
“Tuns Lane is a shame – you have all these contractors with different colored bins. When we took a city tour with Grundon we came across the new mews shops in Gardiner Place and on the back of those they built some collection areas and locked sheds which we want reproduce.
He said city council should use the money from developers’ contributions to pay for the compounds, as they would be city equipment.
Mr Wood said there should be a meeting between council, businesses and residents to discuss Grundon’s proposals.
“The report was written free of charge and without any obligation on either side and is, in our opinion, the answer for the next three years,” he said. “Then we want to be inspired by it. Once we have the sole contractor, we can negotiate more because we want there to be a benefit for the stores.
“We will take this report to City Council and South Oxfordshire District Council and try to make them understand that something needs to be done. You can’t expect 110 stores
to coordinate, it needs to be organized.
“I am convinced by the idea and it would make us stronger as a community, especially if the price is right. The more stores there are on board, the better the deal, I’m sure.
Councilor Eggleton, an independent waste contractor, said: “It must be better to have a business that comes once or twice a day than to have a lot of different businesses with big trucks coming in.
“If we can unite with one company, it’s better for this city and for the environment. You are also dealing with one company so everyone knows who it is. “
Cllr Eggleton said some companies could be linked with one or two year agreements with other contractors, adding, “These people may have to pay a fee to get out early or wait until the contract runs out before moving on.
“It’s not something that will happen overnight, but the sooner we do it, the faster it can work. The report shows that it can work and I would like to see the city council support it, because we all want the city to be smarter and greener.
Councilor Hamilton said the issue of garbage collection has been around for a long time.
He continued, “It was clear that we had to have a plan and Grundon are experts, so I asked for help in fixing the issues and making it sustainable so that we recycle more and deal with waste in the right way.
“We have 10 heavy goods vehicles coming into town at night to collect commercial waste and if you get rid of it people can sleep and that would solve the Tuns Lane problem as well.
“It will always be the choice of the companies with which contractor they choose, but if Grundon can offer preferential rates, we hope to achieve critical mass.
“If the city council can designate a preferred operator, we can have a better solution for the whole city. This is a long-term approach, but this report gets the ball rolling. “
Mayor Sarah Miller welcomed the proposal.
She said, “If you can reduce pollution and, in particular, reduce the heavy goods vehicles coming into the city, then this is an absolute win / win.
“It’s a smart idea that all businesses use one business. This is something we have thought about before, but garbage collection is something that companies procure on their own. If a new process can be introduced and it is feasible, I would support it. ”
Stefan Gawrysiak, city, district and county councilor, agrees.
He said: “I absolutely want Grundon to become our main company for eliminating waste and I encourage all companies, as long as what is offered to them is competitive, to register with them.
He pointed out that some chain stores might not be able to switch companies as it would be a head office decision, although he hoped it could be overcome.
Councilor Gawrysiak said: “We are governed by a law, which means that businesses have the freedom to operate as they wish and that the city and district council cannot do anything to force a business to go with an agent. in particular.”
He said the issue could be discussed at the regular meeting of the Retailer Forum.
David Dickie, Clean Air for Henley, said: “If we reduce the number of heavy truck movements in the city, that’s good news.
“When we did our traffic surveys, aggregate and garbage trucks were the two most common.”
Lynne Lambourne, an environmental activist from Peppard, said: “A business as a whole would make sense for us all to know where we are as long as it takes recycling really seriously and helps stores, cafes and all. the world does and doesn’t. t make it difficult.
“But commercial waste is only part of it. We need to better educate the people of Henley and those who come here to use things like reusable coffee mugs and to create less waste because that’s how we start to solve our problems.
In 2017, City Council was ordered to pay £ 8,256 for a bespoke environmental permit after it was discovered it was illegally storing waste from Henley retailers at its depot near Tesco, near Reading Road.
In 2014, entrepreneurs Biffa and Grundon agreed to have early morning collections at 5 p.m. on weekdays following a campaign by Cllr Gawrysiak and former mayor Pam Phillips.
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