The Department for Communities and Local Government today set out their prospectus for councils to bid for a share of £250 million available for them to enhance their waste collection and recycling service – most prominent being the restoration of weekly bin emptying.
Over 10 million households in England no longer have access to weekly collections thanks to the last Labour Government compelling councils to cut collections. Will this localist budge do the trick? A recent survey, by Sauce-Icaro, found that two thirds (67%) agreed with the statement the Government should mandate weekly collections. Weekly collections had higher satisfaction levels than fortnightly (83-74%).
There has been speculation that councils will spurn this offer. Some will making the (usually dishonest) claim that their residents have no preference for their bins being emptied weekly rather than fortnightly. But other councils are likely to be responsive. Even before the Government has formally opened the scheme for bid, already over 70 councils have raced to signal their interest.
TApart from the charge that it will be ignored the other allegation is that the initiative will reduce recycling. But the new fund will support reward-schemes like Windsor and Maidenhead’s Recyclebank scheme and Birmingham’s Nectar points scheme, where families are rewarded for recycling.
It also explicitly intends to tackle ‘bin blight’ and the proliferation of bins, by supporting new technology (already used in Bournemouth) of Mechanical Biological Treatment plants, which take one bin, and sort out the materials, without dumping it in landfill or burning it in an incinerator.
Eric Pickles says:
“Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120 per month council tax. Labour’s barmy bin rules have made putting out your rubbish more complicated than solving a Rubik’s cube.
“The public are fed up of all the bin do’s and bin don’ts they just want a simple service, which is why Government is making sure that councils can offer a good weekly collection and make it easier to go green. We’ve called time on the Town Hall Talibin, and have ditched Labour’s policies of bin cuts, bin fines and bin taxes in the dustbin of history.”