Council bosses plan shake-up of Stirling's waste collection system in bid to save £500,000

Published date12 September 2023
Trade unions and the workforce are said to have been in talks with management to provide their own take on what could be improved with the service -which costs more per household than that of any other council in Scotland

But bosses haven’t ruled out the potential for the changes to spark “localised industrial action”.

Councillors on the environment, transport and net zero committee last week were told by the authority’s legal team they could only ‘note’ the changes -which had been drawn up by managers following the findings of a cross party working group looking at the waste service -as they were operational matters which were delegated to officials.

While there will be no changes to the four-weekly frequency of collection for grey, blue and green bins, or the fortnightly frequency of collection for brown bins, most households will see a change to their current collection days.

The current seven-day collection service with two shift patterns will change to a four-day collection service, Tuesday to Friday, with one shift pattern, for the majority of waste collection staff.

Councillors did amend the report to “ensure continued opportunities for trade unions to present evidence of efficiency...as part of negotiations on changes to shift patterns”.

An electronic booking system will also be introduced at the three Household Waste Recyling Centres from February 1, 2024.

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And from the financial year 2024/25 the issuing of paper calendars and letters will be discontinued, saving £40,000 a year.

According to official benchmarking figures, the cost per premise of Stirling Council’s waste collection service is the highest in Scotland at £129.99 -and has been since 2016-17.

The committee report said: “Salary costs in 2022/23 across waste collection and disposal services were £4.95million, with a significant portion of salary costs relating to enhanced payments that are the result of the working pattern.

“Overtime payments are not included in these costs and these amounted to £577k in 2022/23. Salary costs account for around 60 per cent of the cost of waste services operations.

“Primarily, basic salary grades paid to drivers and loaders and costs are higher overall when compared with other authorities.

“Shift working pattern incurs a salary enhancement for weekend and public holiday working, annualised into salaries as part of the collective agreement signed in 2016. The cost of overtime payments is high at...

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