Thursday, 13 September 2012

Council Bid To Revamp Waste Collections



By Ben Aulakh

Waste collections in Birmingham could be revamped with a new fleet of vehicles, more wheeled bins and modernised depots, if government funding is awarded to the city.

A multi-million pound bid is being prepared by the city council who are hoping to take advantage of the £250 million national Weekly Collection Support Scheme

Set up by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the ambitious project will form part of a five year council commitment to deliver weekly collections, value for money, and environmental benefits through increased recycling rates.

The proposal, due before the council’s Cabinet on July 30is also part of a wider plan to meet the challenges of an estimated extra 10,000 homes per year being built in the city.

Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City Councillor James McKay said, “We know the issue of weekly collection is hugely important to citizens, and for many it is seen as the one of the main key services the council provides. 

“Therefore, we want to enhance what we currently provide, to bring the way we do things into the modern age.”

“We already do all we can to keep the streets clean, however the current system of bags makes this an almost impossible job and introducing wheeled bins will improve our living environment.”

Evidence from other authority’s shows that recycling performance improves when wheeled bins are introduced, and the council’s bid aims to build on this by rolling out an incentive-based recycling project for the whole of Birmingham.

Recycling rates for Birmingham are currently at 31.5 per cent, which compares poorly with other local authorities; the plans currently being put together will help drive the city towards its target of  50 per cent target by 2020, and a 60 per cent target by 2026.

Cllr McKay added, “We are always looking at how to improve recycling in the city and we believe Birmingham will become a cleaner and greener place if we are successful in our bid.

“The argument in support of our plan is compelling and I hope it will be looked upon favourably by the Government.”

A recent recycling pilot scheme saw households in Bournville and Erdington given the chance to claim loyalty card points when they recycled.

Collection rates in both areas improved by nine per cent during the period, leading to the proposal to roll the project out to all 40 wards as part of the proposal to government.

Full details of Birmingham’s bid need to be submitted to the DCLG by August 17 and successful proposals for a slice of the fund will be announced by the Secretary of State in October.

If Birmingham’s bid is approved, an pilot scheme and resident consultation exercise will be held before the plan is fully implemented.


Photograph from www.birminghammail.net

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