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Waste and recycling provision

NHDC is committed to maximising recycling of household and commercial waste, diverting as much waste as possible away from landfill and increasing reuse and recycling. In particular we are keen to promote the removal of the most important materials from landfill, these are often either high in value when recycled or have high carbon impacts. We are currently focusing on recycling more paper and composting more food waste.

For household waste in North Hertfordshire there is:

  • a mixed dry-recyclables collection (plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, cartons, glass bottles and jars, tins, cans, aerosols and cardboard)
  • a paper collection
  • a food waste collection
  • a garden waste collection if subscribed to the service
  • a residual-waste collection (anything that cannot be recycled as above)

Fortnightly collections are provided for all household premises.

Space for a minimum of two streams of waste collection are required for commercial developments, this is to satisfy the pre-treatment regulations. Collections can either be provided by the Council or by a private company.

It is important to consider the requirements necessary for waste and recycling early on in the planning process. Our waste and recycling checklist (below) will assist in designing the necessary requirements. You should seek further information or assistance from your planning officer if the development will have problems meeting any these requirements.

You are advised to complete and submit the checklist with your planning application to assist officers and ensure you have included the specific requirements necessary to help avoid difficulties or delays in the planning process.

In addition to this guide you are also recommended to consider the recommendations within BS5906:2005.

BS5906 was updated in 2005 to take account of the need to separate waste for the purposes of recycling. In section 4 it sets out general principles of the design of facilities, stating that designers should consider:

  • easy and safe access for waste producers, including older persons or persons with disabilities
  • easy and safe access for collectors and collection vehicles
  • location and space (including avoidance of opportunity to cause nuisance or injury)
  • protection against animal scavenging of waste
  • aesthetics of the development
  • noise (e.g. glass handling)
  • ease of maintenance, including cleaning
  • robust construction
  • safety from fire risk and smoke
  • lighting
  • ventilation
  • sound insulation
  • special requirements (e.g. separate storage and collection of healthcare waste and bulky waste)

Developers should note that in some instances the requirements of the British Standard are superseded by this guide.

Types of waste and recycling

The following sections provide general information about the different waste streams collected by the council from households within the district.

Paper recycling collection (blue boxes)

  • White paper and magazines

Dry recycling collection (grey bins)

The following material is collected alL together (co-mingled):

  • cardboard and brown paper
  • glass bottles and jars
  • cans (aluminium and steel)
  • plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • Tetrapak

Organic waste collection (brown bins)

The following material is collected:

  • cooked and uncooked food waste
  • garden waste

Residual waste collection (purple bins)

For non-recyclable and non-compostable waste only

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Houses, maisonettes, house conversions to flats

Experience shows that residents who are responsible for their own individual waste containers do more recycling and cause less contamination. Wherever possible therefore, individual containers for each dwelling are preferred.

However, communal provision is sometimes necessary and can be more advantageous where space is at a premium. It is vital that adequate space and arrangements for the storage and collection of waste and recycling are considered at the earliest stage. The design must take space requirements and the on-going operational arrangements into account. If you anticipate communal waste storage is required please refer to the section on flats.

Most houses are required to have a 180 litre wheeled bin for residual waste and separate 240-litre wheeled bins for both green/food waste and mixed dry recyclables, as well as a blue box for paper. These are emptied once a fortnight. Small houses and flats up to two bedrooms in some circumstances can have a set of three smaller bins. Annexes may also require an additional set of small bins depending on the use and occupancy.

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Flats usually require communal provision for all residents to use. This provision needs to be convenient and accessible both for the resident (within 30m) and for collection staff (within 10m).

Collections will be changing for flats and therefore the list below gives details of the capacity requirements per person as a minimum for new developments. As a guide for one and two bedroom flats an assumption of two residents per flat should be made. For three bedroom flats assume three residents per flat as a minimum.

  • Mixed dry recycling: 45 litres per person (fortnightly collection)
  • Paper: 10 litres per person (fortnightly collection)
  • Food waste: 20 litres per person (if flats have private gardens additional capacity will be required) (fortnightly collection)
  • Residual waste: 40 litres per person (fortnightly collection)

In addition, the internal kitchen storage arrangements for waste are often inadequate. Separate storage should be provided inside each dwelling for each of the four waste streams with a minimum total internal storage capacity of 30 litres.

Note: The bin colours for flats may vary from those for houses, bins should be obtained from the Council direct.

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Considerations when planning waste and recycling provision

For houses, waste collection is a kerbside service; therefore residents must be able to take their bins to the kerbside for emptying. Bins must be accessible to crews directly from the kerbside, without pulling distances. For large-scale flat developments, a maximum 10-metre pulling distance is acceptable.

Adequate off-street storage must be provided for bins, and storage areas need to have sufficient space for all necessary waste and recycling containers.

Consideration should be given as to whether there is a requirement to lock communal bin stores. Ease of access to a store is very important for residents and collection staff. Door locking needs to be simple and appropriate for the level of security. Keys and fobs should be avoided where possible and key pad entry used. Alternatively, standard 'Fire Brigade' locks should be used.

Where bin cupboards are used they should have protection strips in doorways and on walls to prevent damage, with a mechanism for holding doors open.

Any bin storage area should have enough space to enable each bin to be moved independently, i.e. without moving other bins. Bins should be stored to enable users to stand in front of the opening edge of the bin to lift the lid.

Doors to bin stores should be sufficient in widths to allow the movement of bins at their widest and prevent entrapment of limbs. This is likely to be a minimum of 20cm in addition to the widest bin contained in the bin store.

Storage areas should be conveniently located with easy access for residents - residents should not have to take their waste and recycling more than 30 metres to a bin storage area, or take their waste receptacles more than 25 metres to a collection point, (usually kerbside) in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document H Guidance.

For communal bins, storage areas must be within 10 metres of an access point for collection vehicles in accordance with BS5906:2005. The surface to the collection point should be uninterrupted, level with no gravel or similar covering, and have a width to enable the easy passage of wheeled bins. For two-wheeled bins this should be 1 metre for four-wheeled bins this should be 1.5 metres wide (including doorways), with a maximum gradient of 1:12.

Any pathways should take the most direct route possible to the kerbside and avoid the need to pull bins past parked cars or parking bays.

Drop kerbs should be provided for all developments using 4-wheeled bins, so that bins can be easily wheeled to the vehicle on the public highway.

In large-scale developments, storage areas need to be accessible by vehicles - if not, arrangements will need to be made by owners or managing agents, for bins to be moved to a point where a collection vehicle and crews can easily gain access and meet the pulling distance requirements.

Vehicular access in terms of vehicle weight, turning circles, visibility splays, width, etc, needs to be taken into account in the design. Building roads to adoptable standards and submitting them for adoption will ensure they are suitable for large refuse collection vehicles and this is preferred.

Vehicles should be able to enter and exit a site in forwards motion and any reversing manoeuvres should be kept to a minimum and not more than 12m. It is important that the Highways Authority agree any proposed accesses into and out of a site onto the highway regardless of whether they adopt any new road.

Developers need to be aware that the district’s standard refuse vehicles weigh up to 32 tonnes, so without suitable road construction we may be unable to travel on un-adopted highway and would accept no liability for damage. Un-adopted highway, where it is required, should be constructed to an adoptable weight-bearing standard.

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Commercial developments

Waste collections must be suitable for the business type proposed and consideration should be given to the types of landfill diversion available. i.e. it may be appropriate for restaurants to have food waste collections (where available) as well as recycling collections.

The space for waste storage should be sufficient to store a minimum of two days of waste generated by the business.

At least two waste stream bin types should be provided, to ensure compliance with the pre-treatment regulations.

Waste should ideally be stored at ground level; to reduce manual handling risks a management solution may be required to facilitate collection if the vehicle cannot get within 10m of the bin storage area.

A change of use planning application will still require adequate consideration for the waste storage and collection requirements for the premises.

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Typical Bin Dimensions

Capacity (litres)1802403606601,100
Weight (kg)13.315.5235060 to 110
Height (mm)1,0801,0801,0801,1701,300 to 1,360
Width (mm)4805806201,3601,270
Depth (mm)7207408607701,080

Please note:

  • Where communal large bins are required, it should be noted that food waste and paper bins are heavy and are not normally provided in sizes greater than 240L.
  • All bins open along the width. This is therefore the front of the bin and it must be positioned with the front edge facing forward, so that the bin can be opened for residents to place the waste and recycling inside
  • All bins must be ordered from the Council 10 weeks in advance of occupation to ensure they are available for delivery to site prior to residents moving in.

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Vehicular access

We currently operate a number of different-sized vehicles. The majority that we operate at present are 26 tonne with a 6x2 chassis. The chassis configuration differs between vehicles, but the largest turning circle is on our mid-steer vehicles.

Typical maximum dimensions are as follows:

  • Width: 2,500mm (without mirrors)
  • Height: 3,400mm (without hazard beacons)
  • Turning circle: 22,800mm
  • Overall length: 12,100mm (from front to rear of bin lift)

All roadways should be constructed to facilitate waste collections prior to occupation. This is particularly important to consider when waste collections occur from the rear of properties or from a different street from the main entrance to the properties.

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