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Workplan 2015/16: Inspection of Local Authority (LA) household waste and recycling collections


Following on from a previous inspection initiative with LA waste and recycling collection activities, this describes a programme of further inspections to all LAs (England, Scotland and Wales) to re-assess health and safety standards in 2015/16. It applies to all Local Authorities (LAs) whether the service is delivered in house or contracted out.  Inspection will take place between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.


This work programme is a continuation of the interventions with LA waste and recycling services. It aims to:


DIOs should:

B3 and B4 inspectors should:




There are 380 LAs that provide municipal (household) waste and recycling collection services either directly or indirectly through contractors.

Every LA should be covered by inspection activity. However there are approximately 40 LAs that are in a waste partnership with other neighbouring authorities for the collection of waste and/or recycling. Only one visit may be necessary for each partnership and this is likely to reduce the total number of visits.

Inspection Focus

Inspectors should focus on the following issues at the site inspection:

* Topics most commonly identified as areas for improvement by inspectors in the previous initiative.

The online inspection proforma (see Appendix 1) will also act as an aide-memoire for inspectors.

For further details see:


Inspections should be carried out any time between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016. In terms of phasing inspections, prioritisation should be given to:

any that have recently renewed their waste and/or recycling contract/s.


It is anticipated that 1 day of site time per intervention will be required (this may cover more than one LA where LAs work in partnership).

This does not take into account DIO activity, follow up (e.g. enforcement) time, reactive work or any input that may be required from specialist inspectors.

It is expected that inspections will be carried out by B3 inspectors. However, more experienced B4s may also be deemed suitably competent.

Recording and reporting

Inspectors should:

Inspectors are also encouraged to share with the Waste and Recycling Sector Team any issues of particular note (eg particular instances of good and extremely poor performance, with photographs, copies of letter/notices, etc.)


The Waste and Recycling Sector Team will use the proformas, enforcement action data (material breaches, notices and prosecutions) and overall rating scores to:

Findings will be communicated to inspectors via internal briefings and the industry via press articles, web pages and through the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum.

Health and Safety

Inspecting household collection activities has potential to expose HSE staff to health and safety risks. Inspectors should refer to HSE’s internal guidance for visiting staff.

There are particular risks due to vehicle movements. Inspectors must wear high visibility clothing and appropriate footwear at all times and should ensure drivers and operators are aware of their presence. Hearing protection may also be required, particularly if glass is being recycled.


English may not be the first language of some collection operatives.

Further references

Frequently asked questions

HSE’s waste and recycling website. Selected sub-sites include:


Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Sector, Waste Management and Recycling Team, HSE Cardiff office.


Appendix 1: Copy of online inspection proforma

Updated 2015-11-03