Our Environmental Services account for many of the regulatory functions of the Council
including the protection of people from harmful products and environments, repairing
and maintaining our roads as well as waste disposal and recycling. There are a number
of measures included in the LGBF that measure both satisfaction with and the cost
of delivering a range of Environmental Services functions; however these are not
Domestic noise complaints are handled by our Environmental Health & Trading Standards
unit who deliver many regulatory functions which are centered on the protection
of people from harmful environments such as air, land, water and noise pollution,
as well as food safety, trading standards and animal welfare. Waste recycling, street
cleansing and the maintenance of our road network are handled by our Waste Services
and Roads Services Units respectively.
National Policy Context
In terms of waste recycling, the Scottish Government use the structure set by EU
policy and the associated Directives to provide a national framework for the regulation
of waste. The Zero Waste Plan for Scotland was published in June 2010 and proposes
that discarded materials are treated as a resource rather than a waste. Since then,
the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 have been introduced. Under these regulations,
we must reduce the amount of material being sent to landfill.
Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the associated Code of Practice
on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2006 require local authorities and others to keep
specified land and public roads clean and litter-free. Clean and safe local environments
are a vital element of improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. The
Carnegie UK Trust found that issues such as vandalism, graffiti, litter, dog fouling
and discarded rubbish have a serious and long-lasting impact on people's quality
of life. Moreover, those most affected are most likely to live in the UK’s most
deprived neighbourhoods where high litter levels directly contribute to increased
In terms of domestic noise complaints, neighbourhood noise is included in Part 5
of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. The provisions of Part 5 are
enabling and flexible and came into force on 28 February 2005.
Brief Local Profile
Falkirk has a population of over 157,600. While the population of the Council area
has been increasing in recent years, the number of households has been increasing
at a greater rate. The number of households in the council area has grown from 56,780
in 1991 to 68,223 in 2009, an increase of 11,443 or 20% while the population has
only increased by 6.5% within the same period. Additionally, we have 970km of carriageways
to maintain and approximately 1700 km of footways. The majority of our network (75%)
What we know affects performance
Only household waste is now used to measure Scotland's progress towards the recycling
targets. In previous years the recycling and composting rate was based on Local
Authority Collected Municipal Waste (LACMW). Therefore previous years cannot be
compared directly. There is also a new definition for recycling, and some activities
no longer count towards local authority household recycling rates.
Furthermore, statistics published by Keep Scotland Beautiful consistently show that
the general public are the main reason litter is a problem in Scotland. This trend
remains, despite many national and local anti-littering campaigns. Business waste
accounted for only 4.7% of littered sites across Scotland. Domestic waste resulting
in a litter issue affected only 3.6% (5.9% in high density residential locations).
In terms of our noise complaints, there are multiple factors that can affect response
times. The varying volume and degree of complexity of complaints can impact both
positively and negatively on response times. There can be significant differences
in response times between urban, rural and semi-rural areas. In certain circumstances
our response times can occasionally be negatively affected by delays in the arrival
of partner agencies.
In terms of road maintenance, there is a significant difference in costs between
urban, rural and semi-rural councils. The higher traffic volumes experienced in
urban and semi-rural areas, where some large towns are located, is a key factor
behind the variations in spending.
Link to corporate community plan/priorities/national priorities
Waste recycling and street cleaning as functions link with our organisational goal
of enhancing and sustaining an environment in which people want to live, work and
visit. The handling of domestic noise complaints links in with our goal to improve
the health, safety and wellbeing of our citizens and communities and our road maintenance
activities link in with our goal to further develop a thriving, sustainable and
Below is a brief overview of our performance as measured by those indicators set
out in the LGBF. More information can be found on the
LGBF website and in our performance reports published in our
The percentage of total waste arising that is recycled.
This indicator shows the percentage of total waste that is recycled. Only household
waste is used in the measurement of this. Household waste includes household bin
collections, other household collections such as bulky uplifts, and waste deposited
by people at household waste recycling centres and recycling points/bring banks.
Our household waste recycling rate for the 2014/15 period increased to 54.3%. Our
rank also increased for this period to 7th in Scotland. The Scottish average during
2014/15 was 42.8%.
Street Cleanliness Score (Percentage Acceptable)
The cleanliness index is determined following inspection of a sample of streets and
other relevant land. Relevant streets and land are defined in the Code of Practice
on Litter and Refuse 1999. This measure includes streets receiving A and B code
of practice defined ratings and provides a measure of the proportion of streets
considered 'acceptably clean’.
The percentage of our streets considered acceptable for the 2014/15 period decreased
for the first time to 94.6%. However our rank actually increased for this period
from 22nd to 15th in Scotland. The Scottish average during 2014/15 was 93.9%.
(Domestic Noise) Average time (hours) between time of complaint and attendance on
site, for those requiring attendance on site
This indicator examines the ways in which councils initially handle/investigate complaints
of domestic noise abuse. Each council is responsible for maintaining the level of
service it considers appropriate for its area. Domestic Noise means noise to which
Part V of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 (ASBA) applies or would
have applied, had the Council resolved to apply that provision. However, such noise
may be dealt with using other, pre-existing legislation.
Our response times for the period 2014/15 improved again to 11.8 hours. This signifies
a 14.8 hour improvement on our 2012/13 performance. The Scottish average during
2013/14 was 78.2 hours
The percentage of A, B, C and U class roads that should be considered for maintenance
These four indicators calculate the proportion of A, B, C and unclassified roads
that need consideration for maintenance repair together with the portion of roads
requiring further investigation and/or monitoring. Note that all trunk roads, including
motorways, are dealt with by Transport Scotland and are therefore not included.
A summary of our performance for the 2014/15 is as follows:
- A Class – 28.3%, Rank 17, Scottish Average 29.0%
- B Class – 36.6%, Rank 23, Scottish Average 36.1%
- C Class – 38.5%, Rank 17, Scottish Average 37.4%
- Unclassified – 34.0%, Rank 9, Scottish Average 39.3%
Explanation for variation in performance
There are a number of factors influencing our performance in respect of street cleansing,
none more so than the financial challenges we have faced and the reduction in the
profile of local environmental quality at both a local and national level.
The significant change in our response times to domestic noise complaints is largely
due to a change in how this indicator is calculated. It is expected that over time
the data will become more of an accurate reflection of how quickly we are responding
to complaints of domestic noise.
What the Council is doing to improve services?
Zero Waste Strategy replaces the Council’s previous waste strategies. It summarises
current arrangements for waste management and sets out the actions that will be
necessary for the Council to move towards the vision for a Zero Waste society over
a period of up to 10 years. The strategy will guide future decision-making by the
Council and successful delivery will require the engagement of all key stakeholders.
Additionally, it is hoped that the recent launch of the National Litter Strategy
should have a positive impact on public behaviour.
In terms of our response to domestic noise complaints, we continually review our
operational procedures and make changes where necessary to improve efficiency and
performance. Our response times are reported regularly to management and officers
are continuing to follow changes to the British Standards guidance on best practice
and implement changes as appropriate.
We also regularly attend Family Group workshops to discuss outputs and performance
with other similar Councils. We also participate in both the Association for Public
Service Excellence (APSE) for Roads, Environmental Health and Trading Standards.
How can the public get involved?
The Citizens Panel helps us listen and respond to your views. We are always looking
for more people to join the Citizens Panel, so that we can be sure that the survey
responses are representative of the whole population. If you want to make your voice
heard, join the Citizens Panel today. You have the option to complete surveys online
or on paper.
You can also give us your feedback on services: