Bolton Council will be visiting every household in the borough to offer help and advice ahead of implementing slim grey bins.
At the Cabinet meeting on July 6, the council approved the adoption of slim grey bins from June 2016, which will save £1.25m a year and increase recycling levels across the borough.
The council has already made significant efforts to reduce grey bin waste and increase recycling, but must make further changes, as waste disposal costs have increased from £16m in 2011/12 to £20m in 2014/15. Most Greater Manchester councils are taking steps to reduce waste disposal costs, either introducing slim grey bins, or moving to three weekly collections.
The council will therefore be replacing all 240 litre grey bins with slim 140 litre grey bins between June and November 2016, but there will be no other changes to collection rounds or days for residents.
To ensure residents are prepared for the changes and to offer help and support, the council will carry out a variety of engagement activities over the next year.
During 2015-16, a borough-wide campaign will be carried out, visiting all households and advising residents of the changes. Residents will be offered help and advice on how to recycle more and will be encouraged to slim their bin ahead of the full rollout in a year’s time.
The council will also be focusing on increasing the amount of food waste recycled, as currently only 35% of food waste is put into the green bin or food waste container and the rest goes into the residual waste bins. The council will trial a ‘no food waste’ sticker campaign in targeted areas to remind residents to recycle food waste, as well as ensuring that all residents have information on how to get food caddies and liners.
A competition with schools will also be carried out, to encourage children to take part in food recycling at home, with the incentive of a prize for their school.
Finally, the council will be tackling the issue of recycling bins containing incorrect items, through a dedicated recycling officer, who will be visiting properties whose bins have been stickered by bin crews. The officer will be communicating with residents who put the wrong items in the wrong bin and supporting them to understand what they should be doing differently.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Nick Peel, said: “The council must save money on our waste disposal costs and also make savings across the council of £43m, so we had to make a difficult decision about how to make these savings.
We considered moving to three weekly waste collections, but felt that moving to a slim grey bin was the best way to make these savings with less impact on residents.
We understand that some households and some families may already be recycling everything and may be worrying about how they will cope, so we want to offer all the support and help we can. We also understand that some residents need extra help to understand what can and cannot go in the various bins and we are going to provide that additional help.
However, we also want to target the 20 per cent of households which are not recycling at all and encourage them to start recycling.”
Finally, in areas where flytipping is a problem, recycling officers will visit residents as the new bins are delivered to remind them that it is an offence to flytip waste and will carry out regular patrols in the first weeks of the new bin collections.
The council also wants to encourage any residents who feel they need help with waste and recycling to apply for a waste audit. You can apply for a waste audit by calling 01204 336632 or visiting www.bolton.gov.uk/loverecycling. Large families with six or more people, families with three or more children in nappies and households with one or more people producing medical waste may also be eligible for a larger bin.