Bolton Bins: All change?
9:32am Friday 21st September 2012 in News
WEEKLY bin collections could be scrapped and replaced with fortnightly rounds in a bid to save the council £2.6 million in waste disposal costs.
On Monday, Bolton Council will be launching a consultation over radical proposals to introduce a fortnightly grey bin collection service.
If given the go-ahead, a weekly food waste collection would be introduced using a “kitchen caddy” container and a small outside green bin — but only for residents who do not currently have large green recycling bins.
They would continue to have their food waste collected every fortnight.
The food waste would then be turned into compost at a new facility at the former Exide Batteries site in Over Hulton , which is due to open next year. Bolton and Salford are currently the only authorities in Greater Manchester which do not have either fortnightly collections or reduced sized grey bins, and Bolton is currently bottom of the recycling league table in the county, having slipped from second in 2006/07.
The borough currently recycles 30 per cent of its waste — compared to 49 per cent in Trafford and 63 per cent in Stockport — and the council is being stung with punishing charges of £210 per tonne to get rid of its grey bin rubbish.
Bolton’s current waste disposal costs are £15.8 million a year, a figure which is set to rise to £24.6 million by 2015/16 due to higher landfill tax and waste treatment charges.
The council hopes the changes will drive its recycling rate up to 41 per cent and save £2.6 million as part of a £35.6 million cuts programme over the next two years.
But Conservative leader David Greenhalgh condemned the plans and said his party would fight them.
He claims the borough should stick with weekly collections but introduce smaller grey bins, as is the practice in Conservative-run Trafford.
He said: “We will not be supporting Labour’s proposals.
“The Conservatives believe that, to local residents, the weekly grey bin collection is the most visible of all front line services, and that every house in the borough has a basic right to have their grey bin collected every week. Conservatives believe that we can achieve these savings, and more, and substantially increase recycling rates by adopting the system which has doubled recycling figures for Trafford Council in three years, by moving from a 240-litre grey bin to a 140-litre bin, and emptied weekly.”
Cllr Greenhalgh said the costs of the new bins could be met with capital investment — cash which is ringfenced for infrastructure.
But council leader Cliff Morris hit back saying: “It is outrageous to say that a weekly small grey bin service would save as much money and increase recycling by the same amount.
“We would have to scrap 120,000 grey bins and then spend about £2.5 million to buy the smaller bins.
“It would also cost us an extra £460,000 a year to collect them — meaning extra savings would have to be found elsewhere in the council.”
If approved, the new arrangement could be introduced by May next year.
Bolton Council ’s executive cabinet member for environment, Cllr Nick Peel, said: “We appreciate that this would mean change for the residents of Bolton, but we are confident that this change would be for the better.”
The council will be consulting on the proposals until the end of November with questionnaires being sent to 8,000 homes .
They are also available online at bolton.gov.uk/loverecycling or from the town hall.