Bolton Council wants to hear residents’ views on proposed changes to the waste collection service.
Proposals include a new weekly collection of food waste for those households who do not have a green bin, as well as fortnightly collections of residual (grey bin) and recycling waste, as a result of more waste being recyclable.
The council must make changes to the waste collection service, as waste disposal currently costs the council £15.8m a year and this is set to escalate by over £8m to £24.6m by 2015/6, unless changes to the collection and disposal system are made.
The council also must improve its recycling rate as Bolton currently has the lowest recycling rate in Greater Manchester. Currently, only 30.6 per cent of Bolton’s waste is recycled, compared to 49 per cent in Trafford and 63 per cent in Stockport (2011/12 figures).
Bolton Council is proposing to adopt the same type of waste collection service already run by almost all other Greater Manchester boroughs and by more than half of councils across the country.
Under this system, known as a ‘managed weekly’ service, residual waste (grey bin) and recycling (burgundy, beige and green bins) are collected on alternate weeks.
The council is also proposing to introduce a weekly food waste collection service of new outside food waste containers, for those who don’t have green bins. It is hoped this would encourage more people to recycle their food waste, meaning that grey bins only need to be collected every two weeks.
Currently, only residents with green bins are able to recycle food waste but these new proposals would mean every household will have the opportunity to recycle their food waste, either via their green bin or via the new outside container.
If this new waste collection service is adopted, it would potentially save £2.6m and would increase the recycling rate to a predicted rate of 41 per cent. It would also lead to a reduction in the number of agency staff employed by the council, but no permanent staff would be affected.
The council is now consulting with staff, partners and all residents across the borough and wants to hear their views on the proposed changes to the service. A sample survey will be posted to 8,000 households across the borough, who will all be encouraged to complete the survey and this will provide the council with a cross section of results from across Bolton. Any residents who do not receive the survey and wish to comment on the proposed changes can fill in a survey available from the council website – www.bolton.gov.uk/loverecycling. The consultation will run from September 24 until midnight on November 16.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Nick Peel, said: “We are proposing these changes to the waste service, as we must reduce the cost of waste disposal and drive up the recycling rate. Waste disposal currently costs the council £15.8m a year and this is set to escalate by over £8m to £24.6m by 2015/6, unless changes to the collection and disposal system are made.
The council must also save a further £35.6m between 2013 and 2015 and these savings would contribute £2.6m towards that.
“A lot of councils across the country already run a collection service like this without any issues. We appreciate that this would mean change for the residents of Bolton, but we are confident that this change would be for the better.
“All households would be able to carry out food recycling, as well as the paper, cardboard, plastics and glass which they already recycle.
“We’d like to encourage all residents to express their views on these proposed changes by visiting our website and filling in a survey. We will then take all comments into consideration before we make a final decision on whether to introduce these changes.”