Why wheeled bins are needed

The following is a piece written by Cllr James McKay, outling the reasons why wheeled bins are needed in Birmingham – after the Government recently announced that the city was to receive £29million as part of a project to protect weekly waste collections.

Cllr James McKay

Cllr James McKay

The article first appeared in the Birmingham Mail today (December 5).

We’ve got a problem with rubbish in Birmingham.  Our system doesn’t work anymore, and costs too much to run.  We need a change.

Birmingham has won cash from Government to protect weekly bin collections.  This is new money, not money we spend on vital services.

The Government cash keeps our weekly collections, and lots more too.  We need to spend £10m in our depot infrastructure.  We need new lorries.  This Government cash lets us do these things.

We’ll bring in weekly recycling in the highest demand areas of the City, as well as rolling out a recycling incentive scheme for everyone.  The more we recycle, the more we can sell on – a better deal for residents.

The big change, of course, is the wheeled bin system.

We’ll be talking to residents shortly about the best way to roll out the scheme.  The basic model is 3 bins: recycling (glass, plastics, paper), garden waste, and residual waste (previously black bag waste).  But this won’t be one size fits all.  Households come in all shapes and sizes.

We know we need to look again where there are major problems with rear access, or where the physical features of the homes make such bins impractical.  Also, assisted collections where people are unable to manage their bins will carry on.

We envisage we will start the roll out in Spring 2013, once we’ve finished the consultation.

Let’s be clear.  We cannot go on as we are.  We cannot afford it any more, not in these tough times.

The new system lets us protect weekly bin collections and drive up recycling rates, while stopping the mess and litter caused by the black bag system. We must also remember that 80 per cent of councils – including most big cities -  nationally have wheeled bin schemes that work without any problems. This is not a radical, unproven idea.

It’s a good deal for Birmingham, which is why Government has given us the cash to do it.

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