CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is taking an innovative approach to tackling household waste problems in the Garden Quarter area of Chester.

The new approach was championed through a steering group comprising of key partners, stakeholders and Councillors Jill Houlbrook and Bob Rudd to develop a long term solution to address local residents’ concerns and improve local environmental quality within the area.

A new scheme is to be piloted over the next six months in which a formal notice will be printed on to bin bags distributed to the residents.

The notice requires all residents to place their household waste out for collection no sooner than the night before the day of collection and on the correct day of the week.

Those residents who continue to ignore the notice may face on the spot fines under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The fine will be issued using fixed penalty notices and will be £100 which is reduced to £75 if paid within seven days.

Starting later this month there will be a major awareness and education campaign. Newly printed bin bags will start to arrive in November/December and if necessary enforcement action will begin in the spring.

Councillor Lynn Riley, executive member for community and environment, said: “I believe our initiative is a very positive response which tackles head-on a problem we have in the Garden Quarter of Chester.

“This is an area which has a large proportion of rented accommodation and at the moment we are having to put in a team every day to clear away rubbish in alleyways and streets because it is being put out on the wrong day. This is not a sustainable long term solution for either residents or the council.

“This pilot project offers the opportunity to address a significant issue for the area and we will be working with Garden Quarter residents to make them fully aware of this initiative over the coming months.”

Developed in partnership with councillors, landlord representatives, the University of Chester and Chester Students’ Union, the pilot aims to educate all residents in the area on how to use the waste collection service correctly.

The pilot is being addressed proactively by the university arranging talks to students at induction week, and recruiting local ‘Student Champions’ to remind all residents of their responsibilities.

Steve Clapham, university proctor, said: “The university liaises closely with the local community and Cheshire West and Chester Council to ensure the quality of life for all residents in the Garden Quarter and continues to work alongside all agencies that have a responsibility for the area’s upkeep.

“We recognise that various measures have to be taken to reduce the amount of excessive waste and refuse, and are actively involved in consultation with Cheshire West and Chester Council and relevant agencies about how we can communicate this to our students.

“As part of the proposed Cheshire West and Chester Council scheme, there will be an educational campaign targeting the university’s new student intake, which will then roll out to our returning students, and continue throughout the academic year.

“These campaigns will be conducted by the university, Chester Students’ Union and Cheshire West and Chester Council. Our intention is that by the time the bin bags arrive most student residents will be fully aware of the scheme and its aims.”

Over the last three years the council has worked closely with both the University of Chester and its Chester Students’ Union to educate students on how and when to use their waste collection service.

This has been achieved through a number of initiatives from an innovative free text message collection day reminder service, to the expansion of communal bin collection facilities.

While these initiatives have helped to increase recycling, the council has continued to listen to the views of local residents and are aware that some concerns, about the incorrect use of the council’s waste collection service, still remain. The pilot project aims to address those remaining concerns.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Waste and Streetscene on 0300 1237026.