Effective refuse management is a fundamental part of managing customers’ homes and ensuring a clean and healthy environment, according to Principle Estate Management.
The leading estate management company was explaining a number of creative ways it had solved long-standing litter and waste problems on sites where it had won contracts to look after.
At one residential site, Principle installed a ramp at the entrance to a bin store as local authority staff had been refusing to lift bins up the step which had resulted in more expensive private collections.
Another example saw Principle arranged private recycling collections instead of relying on the local authority that was persistently making errors, which was more efficient than having to arrange one-off collections.
Andrew Winstanley (above), property operations manager at Principle, said: “You never have a conversation about block management with a potential client, particularly a residents’ management company, without talking about rubbish!
“That can range from the frequency of collections to people not putting the rubbish in the right recycling bins, and all the way to complaints about people not putting rubbish in the bins at all.
“The point I’m making is that rubbish really matters as dealing with it is such an important part of everyone’s life, and a good estate management company takes that very seriously.”
Other examples of Principle tackling issues include everything from improved communications with residents to solve incorrect disposals, and arranging Christmas tree collections in early January at a number of sites.
Mr Winstanley explained that improved communications was often one of the easiest solutions, with examples including improved signage to show residents that one bin store was for general waste and a separate store was for recycling.
Noticeboards have also been introduced at various sites advising residents how to arrange collection of bulky items or where the local refuse centre is located.
Elsewhere, Principle has even installed solar lights with battery back up to boost security and safety for residents using the store.
Mr Winstanley said: “Here at Principle, we always review such issues on a case-by-case basis, as bespoke solutions are often required.
“It could be a problem of missed collections, or waste in the wrong bins, or overflowing bins, or large items just dumped on site, and each one can massively increase costs when we have to arrange one-off clearances.
“It’s helpful to signpost people to the local recycling centre and how to arrange for bulk waste collections.
“With the huge increase in online shopping over the last 12 months, cardboard from parcel deliveries has mounted up on most sites.
“Rather than worrying about our carbon footprint, we are all now having to consider our ‘cardboard footprint’! Particular attention has been needed for recycling facilities.
“We also get involved at design stage with our developer clients to give them the benefit of our experience on dealing with refuse stores.
“We recently had to help a client developer with an issue where the bin store was too far from the pavement and was on a different level.
“In that case, we recommended a bin tug and contractor to move the bins for each collection. Costs were significant, so it is better if these issues can be designed out.”
Mr Winstanly added: “By working together, with our firm but polite guidance, residents can help us to reduce their service charge costs and improve the immediate environment.”
Launched in 2018, Principle has since grown from what was virtually a one-man band into what is now more than 30 staff looking after a portfolio of more than 7,000 units in 250-plus developments across the UK.