Early bird catches the worm in green recycling scheme

By on 30/09/2013 in Cllr McKay, News

Green recycling in Birmingham is moving to a chargeable £35 opt-in service next year – with an early-bird discount offer available for those signing up by November 15.

Central government funding cuts mean the city council is ending its free green waste service when the 2013 growing season ends this November.

Garden-loving households joining the scheme will receive a 240 litre wheelie bin for their green recycling, to be collected fortnightly over the 40-week growing season - equivalent to just £1.50 per collection if the early bird discount offer is used.

The use of a wheelie bin will reduce the mess associated with split sacks, help the environment by reducing the use of plastic sacks and save householders the time, effort and inconvenience of going to their local Household Recycling Centre to dispose of their cuttings, plants and weeds. Alternatively, householders can choose to compost their green recycling at home.

The new chargeable service will commence collections in February 2014, and those signing up will receive fuller details about collection days and what can be recycled closer to the start of the service.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “It is with extreme reluctance we are introducing a charge for green recycling collection, but given the financial crisis the council is facing, we have to move to a service we can actually afford to deliver.

“At an early-bird price of £30, the service offers a inexpensive, convenient and environmentally-friendly way for people to dispose of their garden recycling, and I would urge households to take advantage of the discount offer while it is available.”

Where properties are completely unsuitable for wheelie bins, an alternative sack collection can be provided. Households will receive 60 specially marked sacks to use during the 2014 growing season (February-November), also at an annual charge of £30 (early bird) or £35.

Composting is an alternative option, with composters available for purchase for as little as £16.98 plus £5.98 delivery via www.birmingham.getcomposting.com

To sign up to the green recycling collection service or find out more, please visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/greenrecycling or call 0121 303 1112.


For more media information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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There Are 6 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Cyril says:

    Here’s question that needs answering,on the link to the Chargeable Green Recycling Service, the FAQs section ‘ What will my green wheelie bins look like ? ‘ if you click on that it says something about a radio frequency identification micro chip being part of the wheelie bin.I heard Councillor McKay on Radio WM recently and a caller asked him about micro chips in wheelie bins and the councillor stated and made it clear that under no circumstances would micro chips be inserted into the bins.So what exactly is going on and who and what are we to believe ?

    How charming of the council to also threaten legal action if residents happen to stick their green waste in with their household waste ! Thats what we need more Soviet style leadership ! Criminalising residents is not a good road to go down !

    • geoffc says:

      Your first claim is incorrect. Cllr McKay has been very clear in media interviews that chips will be in the bins. This is to enable the council to link the bin to the household in case of any operational issues (non-collection, theft etc).
      Our waste collection scheme, like all waste collection authorities, has a set of rules and what we do in Birmingham is simply in line with other local authorities.

  2. Cyril says:

    geoffc.It is you and not me who is incorrect.When Cllr.McKay was taking calls on Radio WM with Adrian Glodberg a few weeks ago, a caller phoned in and asked about micro chips being inserted into wheelie bins and Cllr.McKay made it perfectly clear that no micro chips would to be used.You must have a recording of that somewhere if you don’t believe me,hear for yourself and I have never even heard Cllr. Mckay talk about micro chipped wheelie bins in media interviews ? If you could point me to where that was actually said I would appreciate it very much. The public seem to be getting all manner of misinformation on this subject.Using the excuse of doing what other local authorities do is wearing a bit thin.

    • geoffc says:

      I’m afraid your recollection of the WM phone-in is incorrect. Cllr McKay has always been very clear about chips.
      Also this factsheet (issued on Sept 6) clearly states: Bins to be fitted with chips linked to property details to enable better management of the service such as missed collections and lost bins) and better knowledge of how the service is used. Also be used for the incentivisation scheme – but absolutely not for “pay as you throw” (
      This factsheet was promoted in the most recent webchat on Sept 10.

  3. Cyril says:

    geoffc Pardon me for living but my recollection of that WM phone in is perfectly clear thank you very much and my wife was listening at the time and agrees with me that the statement Cllr. McKay put out about no micro chips in wheelie bins, when asked by a caller, was indeed correct.If you want to arrogantly call us liars then that is a serious accusation.If you want to say that he made a slip of the tongue then that again is another matter.As I say the implementation of these wheelie bins has been a public relations disaster and will have a downward knock on affect against Labour at the next local council elections and even general elections.

    • geoffc says:

      I’m in no way calling you a liar but as you see from the factsheet in my previous response, we have been very clear on the issue of chips in bins.