Bolton Council has approved changes to its waste collection and disposal service, which will save £2.6m a year and increase recycling levels across the borough.
The council will be introducing a new weekly food waste container collection service to properties not receiving a fortnightly green bin collection. This will allow residents in properties with small gardens or no gardens to recycle food and small amounts of garden waste, meaning that less residual waste goes into grey bins.
The council will also be adopting the same type of grey bin 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 has to make savings of £43.6m between 2013 and 2015. As part of this, the council needs to make changes to the waste collection service, as waste disposal currently costs the council £19.3m a year and this is set to escalate to £24.6m by 2015, unless changes are made. The new waste collection service will save £2.6m per year and will also increase the recycling rate to a predicted rate of 41 per cent.
Currently, only residents with green bins are able to recycle food waste but the changes will mean every household will have the opportunity to recycle their food waste, either via their green bin every fortnight or via a new food waste container every week.
Between September and November 2012, the Council sent a survey to 8,000 randomly selected households in Bolton and received over 1,500 responses, which covered a cross section of all types of households in the borough.
72 per cent said that the proposed changes to bin collection services would have little or no impact on their household and when asked their view on the proposed changes, 63 per cent of respondents made supportive comments.
The council plans to roll out food waste recycling across the borough from April and begin managed weekly collections from May 2013. The council is also changing its policy on missed grey bin collections, so that when a grey bin has been presented correctly for collection but missed, the crew will return to empty the bin if reported.
Residents can find out if they are part of the new weekly food collection service or the fortnightly green bin collection service by visiting www.bolton.gov.uk/loverecycling
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Nick Peel, said: “The council must find £43.6 million of savings over the next two years and moving to managed weekly collections will help us save £2.6 million per year.
We appreciate that this new system will mean that residents will see changes and will need to adapt, and we ask them to be patient. While there may be some disruption at the start, in the long term we are confident that this will be better for the borough as a whole.
Under the new system all households will be able to carry out food recycling, as well as the paper, cardboard, glass, cans and plastic bottles which they already recycle.
“We also know from the feedback we’ve had from residents, that the majority support what we’re doing and most other councils have successfully been operating in this way for quite some time.”
“Overall, moving to managed weekly collections will save money, increase the recycling rate and we hope will also have minimal or no impact for the majority of residents in Bolton.”
Residents who are not already recycling and would like to join in or order a free recycling container can email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01204 336632.