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Bins are a "wheel" issue for Councillors

Local authorities in the UK have in recent weeks been digesting the awards of the government’s Weekly Collection Support Scheme.

Councils from Gravesham in Kent to Birmingham City have received grants to help provide more efficient refuse collection services and increase their recycling rates, while others, such as Leeds, have missed out. In order to achieve a more efficient recycling and refuse collection service local councils will be supplying residents with up to three wheelie bins for the purposes of recycling and refuse.

However, not all residents in Birmingham city council are quite as enthused about the idea as the councillors behind the proposal which is pencilled in for implementation next April.

Many residents have been quick to point out that certain areas in the city are not suitable for wheelie bins because of steep hills, steps leading out of driveways and a lack of space to house all the bins. Therefore the council is entering into consultation with residents and plans to engage in comprehensive door-to-door surveys in order to resolve any issues residents may have.

One Labour councillor, Rob Pocock, who described the scheme as the “Government’s bin bribe”, has already undertaken surveys in his Sutton Vesey ward which resulted in a 60-40 spilt against the universal introduction of wheelie bins. The results also indicated an age divide that showed the older the resident, the more opposed they were to wheelie bins.

One suggestion proposed by Coun Pocock that could resolve part of the issue was to introduce smaller bins for low waste households and in particular, for the elderly and the infirm. 75 Litre wheelie bins are less cumbersome and more compact and would be better suited for recycling purposes than the larger 240 Litre wheelie bins.

Whatever the outcome of the planned consultation, local councils across the country need to try and move away from the traditional black refuse bag collections and introduce wheelie bins where it is practical to do so, as they offer a more durable, hygienic and efficient method for collecting waste and recycling.

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