Bolton council is celebrating winning a national award for innovation for the introduction of slim bins across the borough.
The council has won the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) award for Best Innovation and Demand Management Initiative.
The APSE awards are designed to recognise excellence in local government frontline services across the UK and were presented on September 7 by Louisa Preston, broadcast journalist for BBC London and BBC Breakfast. The winners of the awards demonstrate that they are actively implementing innovative ideas, supporting continuous improvement, and developing new strategies to deliver local services. The council’s attendance at the awards was sponsored by PSP, NCP and Muse.
In 2016, the council rolled out slim grey bins across Bolton. Residents adapted well to the new bins and started recycling more and disposing of less grey bin waste.
This led to an enormous reduction in the amount of grey bin waste collected. In 2016, the council collected 10,000 tonnes less grey bin waste than in 2015 - the equivalent to 1,000 bin wagons full of waste that would have previously been sent for disposal.
Residents also started recycling more and between May and August this year, the recycling rate rose to 50% – meaning that half of all waste produced in the borough was being recycled - compared to an average of 45.5% for the same period in 2016. .
The introduction of slim bins has also meant the council has been able to avoid spending £3.5 million on waste disposal costs (net result of reducing grey bin waste and increasing recycling) between June 2016 and August 2017.
The slim bins scheme was introduced to avoid £1.25m of waste disposal costs per year, but has almost trebled the amount it originally intended to save.
As a result of the savings, the council has been able to protect services including school crossing patrols and respite care for the families of disabled residents.
Bolton is also in the top ten in the country for waste management initiatives – the authority was listed as eighth best by a leading government publication (Government Business) last month.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Nick Peel, said: “We are really pleased to have won this award, which demonstrates all the hard work our staff have put into introducing slim bins and encouraging people to recycle more.We’d also like to thank residents who adapted well to slim bins and began to recycle more, which has helped us achieve a recycling rate of 50 per cent.
Many residents that were not previously recycling are now taking part and food waste recycling has increased significantly.
We are now working to ensure residents understand that more unusual items like foil, foil trays and empty aerosol cans can be recycled in the burgundy bin and liquid food cartons such as Tetrapak can be recycled in the beige bin.”