Bury considers three-weekly collection switch

Bury council in Greater Manchester could become the first local authority in England to collect residual waste once every three weeks. And the move will risk a backlash from Communities secretaruy Eric Pickles.

The council, which estimates it recycled around 47% of its household waste in 2013/14, hopes changes to its collection service could help to push its recycling rate up to 60% by March 2016.

According to Bury council every 1% improvement in its recycling rate will save it up to £130,000 in treatment and disposal costs.

A report to be considered by councillors at a meeting on July 16 claims the best way for Bury to drive increased recycling is through behaviour change achieved by restricting capacity for residual waste and education and guidance for householders.

Moving from a fortnightly to a three-weekly collection regime for residual waste from October 2014 has been put forward as the preferred option for councillors to consider.

The change would also involve increasing the frequency of recycling collections, with residents currently having separate 240 litre bins for paper and card, and glass, cans and plastic, which are both collected monthly.

And, the council is proposing that recyclable materials would be collected once every three weeks while food and garden waste would continue to be collected fortnightly.

Residents would also continue to use the 240 litre grey residual waste bins that are currently in use.

The council estimates that by reducing collection frequency instead of purchasing newer, smaller capacity bins it can avoid a capital outlay of £1.1million for the 70,000 140 litre capacity containers needed to keep a fortnightly service.

The current system has:

  • Grey 240l residual waste bin collected fortnightly
  • Brown bin or food caddy for garden and or food waste collected fortnightly
  • Green 240l bin for paper and cardboard collected every four weeks
  • Blue 240l bin for glass, plastics and metals collected every four weeks

How the proposed system would work:

  • Grey 240l residual waste bin collected every three weeks
  • Brown bin or food caddy for garden and or food waste collected fortnightly
  • Green 240l bin for paper and cardboard collected every three weeks
  • Blue 240l bin for glass, plastics and metals collected every three weeks

The council also predicts the proposed change could result in net savings of around £862,000 per year from 2015/16, and there would be no increase in operational costs or job losses.

A reduction in residual waste is also expected to save the council money, with treatment and disposal of black bin waste costing the authority a total of £283, compared to £61 for the treatment of garden and food waste and an income of £25 for every tonne of recyclable material produced.

Should the decision be approved by councillors next week it is not likely to be welcomed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, which has strongly opposed a reduction in waste collection frequency by local authorities, and has criticised councils looking to make the switch to a less frequent service.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has claimed it is a residents’ right to have residual waste collected weekly, and in January published a “bin bible” in an attempt to encourage councils to move to a weekly collection.

So far only Gwynedd council in Wales and Falkirk in Scotland (trial) have approved plans to collect waste on a three-weekly rotation.

From letsrecycle.com

 

 

Charity Number: 1118616 | Company Number: 4323551