Bumpy start for textile waste collection trial in Chichester district

Efforts to help Chichester residents recycle more have hit a bit of a hiccup.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 2:51 pm
East Pallant House, home of CDC. Pic Steve Robards

In July, the district council launched a 12-month trial for two new kerbside collections – one for textiles and small electrical items and the other for used coffee pods.

But some people, particularly those living in Selsey, have not received their dedicated recycling bags while others have not had their used ones replaced.

The issue was raised during a Chichester District Council meeting on Tuesday (September 21), where Penny Plant, cabinet member for environment & Chichester contract services, acknowledged that a couple of things had not gone to plan.

Mrs Plant listed three main issues:

The lack of bags

Concerns the bags – which are sent out in plain white envelopes – were being mistaken for junk mail and binned; and

Some residents not realising that the collection dates for the bags were not the same as the dates for other household recycling.

She told the meeting that, after realising how time-consuming it was for bags to be collected and replaced by refuse teams, a third party had been approached to do the job.

Mrs Plant said: “They were chosen to do it, the contract was signed and I have to confess they haven’t been quite as diligent as we would have liked. So that issue will be taken up.

“I will say jokingly, if they were sent out with an election manifesto, you could be absolutely certain that every house would have received a bag because they would have been taken around by us.

“There is a failure there. I’ve had lots of enquiries in my area off the bags that haven’t arrived.”

Despite the teething problems, Mrs Plant said the scheme had been ‘very well received’.

One other problem it has encountered has been the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers.

She said: “There is a shortage at the depot, we are a couple of drivers down, and that has meant that a couple of the rounds had to be missed out.”

Carol Purnell (Con, Sidlesham & Selsey North) asked whether the bags could be stocked in libraries or parish council offices to make things easier for residents and the council.

She told Mrs Plant: “Otherwise your email system is going to crash when everybody starts trying to order a bag month in month out.”

To order a recycling bag, log on to www.chichester.gov.uk/article/35544/Request-small-electrical-and-textile-recycling-bags