Emissions from bin lorries are being made worse by Banbury traffic congestion - county highways should 'get traffic moving'
Amid a climate emergency, Cherwell committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 with emissions in 2020-21 less than half of what they were in 2008-9.
Data shows output has dropped across all measured areas bar one with the district’s fleet of waste vehicles 7.5 per cent higher than 12 years ago.
Waste collection vehicle emissions accounted for 1,525 of the 3,219 tonnes of carbon produced by Cherwell’s services in 2020-21 – 47 per cent – a volume that is up 13.1 per cent on the previous year.
Council officers pointed out that the figure, and other figures for things such as leisure centres which saw sizeable reductions, had been skewed by the fact people spent considerably more time at home during the Covid-19 pandemic but historical data shows waste collection to be a problem area.
However, Councillor Douglas Webb (Con, Cropredy, Sibfords & Wroxton) told Cherwell’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee that traffic on the region’s roads, which are managed by Oxfordshire County Council, is exacerbating the problem.
“I am going to have a little jab at the county,” he said. “In Banbury – and I assume it is the same in Bicester, Kidlington and everywhere else – our road system is not working.
“If the guys are going out trying to collect rubbish, half the time is going to be spent stuck in queues like everyone else.
“As we all know, if the cars are not moving the emissions can be horrendous. Our friends at county send someone to work on the side of the road, they block a lane and Banbury jams up. That is not helping.
“Are there things we can do with our friends at county to get traffic moving? It would help quite a bit, especially in areas of Banbury where it is particularly bad.
“Everyone is trying to do their bit but then they seem to be hitting brick walls sometimes.”
Cherwell District Council’s statistics show overall carbon emissions were reduced by 935 tonnes or 22 per cent year on year but the report warned “emission levels may bounce back in the following years” when the impact of Covid is considered.