Liverpool City Council has launched an underground revolution – in a bid to bin an age-old problem with black bag refuse and litter.
The council has today unveiled its first subterranean super-bin in a £1.5m programme that aims to end a rubbish issue for huge swathes of the city.
The first of these new bins – which is filled by a pedal system and unloaded by a crane-drop mechanism – is located in Kensignton Fields, and is one of 12 sites in the first phase of the two-year roll-out.
The innovative scheme to retrofit waste collection in built-up urban areas is the first of its kind in the UK.
The scheme will see these cavernous receptacles placed in 90 locations, set within high-density residential areas, many of which will replace some of the existing temporary communal bins.
The scheme has been designed to create a cleaner waste solution for 27,000 terraced households, in hundreds of inner-city streets, which do not have the space to use a wheelie bin.
The city council, which spends £9.5m a year collecting and recycling refuse, estimates that this new approach will radically reduce the issue of ripped black bin bags spilling out on to streets and blighting neighbourhoods.
This perennial problem creates hundreds of complaints a week and requires extra clean-up resource to be deployed.
The super-bin scheme will also save the council a huge amount of time and resources in the years to come by drastically cutting secondary waste-related issues such as rats, flies and smell associated to black bag waste disposal.
Black bin bag waste has also been identified as one of the contributory factors in the city having a litter problem three times the national average.
The council recently launched a year-long education, engagement and enforcement partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to reduce those levels and help clean up the city.
Some locations may require experimental traffic orders to ensure ease of access for residents and a further consultation exercise would be held.
The super-bins come in a variety of sizes, the biggest being able to take up to 5,000 litres of waste, the equivalent to a week’s worth of refuse for 20 houses.
The uniquely designed smart bins, which are made of steel or reinforced plastic to reduce odours, will issue an alarm when full and will be emptied with a crane lift via a release mechanism in its base.
It is estimated the emptying and re-installation process will take less than 10 minutes.
The bins will be fully accessible to those with limited strength, or mobility, some operated with foot pedals, others with ground-level mechanisms.
Cleanliness is a priority, so no bins will be operated by hand.
The super-bin scheme dovetails with the city council’s £15m alleyways programme which has seen hundreds of acres of inner city land, formerly used as dumping grounds, reclaimed by residents.
Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, who is also the political lead for Waste Management in the City Region, said: “I want Liverpool to be a zero-waste city and to achieve that we need to be smarter in how we enable people to dispose of what they generate in their homes.
“These subterranean super-bins are going to make a huge difference to the quality of life for thousands of families across huge swathes of our inner-city neighbourhoods.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m delighted we’ve started to install these new underground bins. Residents have been asking for us to find a solution to not being able to put their waste in wheelie bins where alleyways are too small and this is a nigh-on perfect response.
“These bins will have an immediate and dramatic impact on the cleanliness of our streets and as an added bonus it will save the council a huge amount of time and money for many years to come. ”