Liverpool City Council is to set to introduce changes to its bin collection services.
A managed weekly collection service for more than 100,000 households will start from 28 October. Purple bins which have household waste will be collected one week, with blue bins for recycled material and green bins for garden waste collected the next week.
The changes will not apply to houses which use plastic sacks for waste collection. The City Council will however be developing proposals to help all residents improve their recycling.
The moves are being made, not only to reduce operational costs, but to increase the city’s recycling rate. Currently, Liverpool’s recycling rate is 26%, lagging behind the Merseyside average of 37% and other major cities of 30.07%. The top 10 areas for recycling all have alternate weekly collections.
It is estimated that, with increases to the Landfill Tax by which councils get charged per tonne of waste that is not recycled, moving to managed weekly collection services will save up to £1m a year. It is also believed that it will deliver at least a 10 per cent increase in recycling and recovery of material, significantly reducing the impact upon the local environment.
“It costs us about £32m a year on collecting, recycling and disposing waste in the city,” said Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for living environment and localism. “This is at a time when the council is having to find savings of around £50m next year and a total of £156m by 2017.
“We have to look at all services to see where we can get best value for money. Clearly with the increases in landfill tax, the less we send to landfill the more we can reduce the financial pressure and continue to protect other frontline services.
“But this is not just an exercise in reducing costs – it is about the environmental impact it will have. The evidence is clear that those councils which have managed weekly collections have the highest recycling rates. Our recycling rate has remained stagnant at about 26% for the last couple of years and we need to improve that significantly.
“All the evidence is that a lot of what is put in purple bins at the moment should be recycled. For most householders using their recycling and garden waste bins effectively should mean that their purple bin will not be full with the new system.
“We are not looking at implementing a blanket one size fits all policy. There are huge differences in how you are able to store bins at a terraced house and how you can store bins in a semi-detached property with a garden, so we are looking at this sensibly and at different ways of collecting in different parts of the city.”
Information about the changes and notification on collection dates is being sent out to each household. There will also be information about a special offer for home composting bins, More information on this is available at www.getcomposting.com.