Trade waste to undergo recycling revolution
It forms the backdrop to our daily lives, is a joy to behold and is the city's greatest asset. Bath's World Heritage streetscape is something that needs to be cherished and the Bath Business Improvement District is focused on constantly coming up with innovative ideas that keep it looking at its best.
In order to protect our rich Georgian past, we need to have bright plans for its future. That's why we are proposing a simplified trade waste collection service which would have the effect of improving the appearance of our city centre.
In recent years, a consensus has emerged behind the view that something needs to be done to improve the trade waste service for businesses in Bath, yet little has been done. The issue has been left in the 'hard to do' box. The view that we have received from businesses is that the time for action is now.
We have commissioned experts from trade waste consultancy Eunomia to look into how improvements could be made and they are working with the industry to find a path forward.
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Under the current system, 15 different trade waste operators come into the city. That results in congestion and pollution as lorry after lorry makes its way through Bath's narrow streets.
We believe the process could be streamlined. We are considering finding a single operator that could provide all waste and recycling collections for businesses in the city centre. The recycling service would be free to all BID levy payers and the rubbish collection heavily subsidised. It is a regime that we believe would have tremendous benefits for the city, its businesses and all those who walk its streets.
We will be broadening the range of materials available to be recycled and anticipate that recycling rates could leap from 20 to 80 per cent, thereby reducing businesses' exposure to impending increases in Landfill Tax. Companies' waste-disposal costs would drop significantly. Moreover, a focus on making collection boxes sea gull-resistant would be another feature that would help improve the appearance of the public realm.
The impetus for this scheme has come from levy-payers themselves. When we asked businesses for comments on what services they would like to see the BID providing, a waste collection service was frequently mentioned.
Among the BID's key goals is the provision of savings for our 620 levy payers, as well as making the city a more attractive place for visitors and those who do business here. This simplified scheme would have the effect of helping us to deliver both these goals.
As well as being a World Heritage city, we want to be a pioneering city, making Bath a vibrant place for businesses and consumers alike.
Bath cannot afford to rest on its laurels but must take bold and imaginative steps to protect its most highly-prized asset.
Our target date for a revised waste collection scheme to come into effect is April 2013. A meeting for BID levy payers to find out more about the proposal will be held at the Hilton Hotel from 3pm-5pm on Friday, October 26. Levy payers should contact Les Redwood at the BID on email@example.com to confirm their attendance.
Phil Lodge, Bath Business Improvement District company secretary and director of Specsavers, Bath