Residents: ‘Wheelie bins will mean cleaner streets’

Plans to introduce wheelie bins across Birmingham will mean cleaner streets – with fewer foxes and rats.

That’s the verdict of a new survey of city residents, with a majority welcoming the council’s plans to replace black bags with wheelie bins over the next three years.

The latest results of the independent survey, due to be discussed at the Transport, Connectivity and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Committee this Friday (April 19), show that:

•    61 per cent of residents agree that wheelie bins will help to reduce the number of vermin in their neighbourhood, (25 per cent disagree, 14 per cent are unsure).
•    58 per cent agree wheelie bins will reduce the amount of rubbish spilt onto the street, (31 per cent disagree, 11 per cent are unsure).
•    51 per cent agree wheelie bins will improve the cleanliness of their neighbourhoods, (35 per cent disagree, 14 per cent are unsure).
•    50 per cent agree wheelie bins will be good for the city, (36 per cent disagree, 14 per cent are unsure).

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “I’m really encouraged by these results which show that already, before they’ve even got them, the majority of Birmingham residents welcome wheelie bins.

“Residents also clearly understand the benefits, with six out of ten people feeling they will reduce vermin on the streets, and nearly six out of ten feeling they will make streets cleaner.

“There are obviously some residents who are unsure, and that is only to be expected with such a big change planned. But based on the experiences of other councils who have made this change, I am confident that residents’ acceptance of the new system will increase once they are introduced.”

Other survey results include 87 per cent of residents agreeing that Birmingham City Council should do more to reduce costs by encouraging recycling and reducing rubbish, (4 per cent disagreed).

Meanwhile, wheelie bins have been found to be suitable for more than 90 per cent of properties in the two pilot wards in Birmingham due to receive them in the next few weeks.

The latest figures from street-by-street assessments show that 96.7 per cent of low rise properties in Brandwood and 91.9 per cent of low rise properties in Harborne have received green cards, meaning they are suitable for wheelie bins.

In Brandwood, this means 8,942 households have green cards and, of these, only 52 households to date have disputed the assessment. In Harborne, 7,213 households have green cards, with just 53 disputing them.

Those properties that receive red cards will have alternative, non-wheelie bin collections arranged as required. To date, there are just 308 of these properties in Brandwood, and 635 in Harborne.

Interestingly, several households in Brandwood and Harborne have disputed their red cards – that is, they have said that they want wheelie bins even though the council feels they might not be suitable.

All disputed green and red cards are being carefully looked into by the council, working with concerned residents.

Cllr McKay said: “The assessment results have been really encouraging so far, and we are continuing to work with residents to make sure that everyone understands what is happening.”

Notes for editors

•    The above survey is being carried out by Opinion Research Services Ltd, whose work is certified as fully compliant with ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 20252:2006, and is accredited to IQCS (Interviewer Quality Control Scheme). More details at www.ors.org.uk
•    The consultation closes at the end of May 2013. The above are interim results from over 3,000 returns, as at March 31, 2013.
•    Wheelie bins are due to be delivered to Brandwood at the end of May, with collections starting in early June; Harborne is scheduled for three weeks later. All other residents will be advised about the dates of roll-outs in their area.
•    The assessment considers if a property has steep steps and/or slopes between the property and roadside, no storage space for wheelie bins or poor access for collection vehicles. If it has any of these, a red card is issued, and residents are advised of how their rubbish will be collected. Otherwise the property is deemed suitable, and a green card is issued.
•    The above assessment figures quoted exclude high rise and other flats that will be served on a communal container collection system.

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