Trial wheelie bin scheme

Frequently asked questions

We have announced new trials of wheelie bins in small areas across the borough following the results of a major council survey showing that a majority of residents want to move to the new system. Introducing wheelie bins has the potential to reduce the £18m a year the council spends on collecting 22million black sacks, to boost recycling, and to cut fly-tipping. It’s really important we are clear about what is proposed, so here are some frequently asked questions:

We have an ambition to increase our recycling rate to 50 per cent and are looking for better ways to achieve this challenging target. Our proposed scheme, which would have to be approved by Cabinet on 18 March, has the potential to significantly lift our recycling rate and set us on our way to becoming a greener borough. More than 62 per cent of residents who responded to a consultation on the council’s Waste Reduction Strategy said it would be helpful to have a bin to store their waste. Given this support, we are keen to introduce a trial scheme to help us reduce waste.

Yes. Switching from black sacks is a triple win for residents and the council. As well as increasing recycling rates, introducing wheelie bins would produce significant savings in the longer term – money we can invest in frontline services in times of significant reductions in central government funding. We are committed to cleaning up our streets and wheelie bins will also help keep front gardens clear, tackle fly-tipping and stop commercial businesses from dumping trade waste in front gardens, which is a growing problem. Providing wheelie bins will also prevent foxes and crows ripping sacks open on collection day helping us to keep the streets more litter free.

The trial scheme is due to start in August 2019. We have also unveiled new plans to bring waste collections back in-house by ending our contract with Amey and creating a new council-owned company to manage and deliver services. Our Cabinet will discuss this proposal on 18 March and, if agreed, the new company will start on 1 August 2018. After that date we will have complete control over waste collections, rather than relying on a private contractor, and can start preparations for the trial.

We have listened to residents who overwhelmingly support the introduction of wheelie bins. However, we need to make sure we iron out any issues early with a trial run – ensuring residents get a say at every step of the process. Throughout the trial we will monitor the impact on refuse and recycling levels, environmental improvements, feedback and our communication with residents on issues such as how to apply for additional refuse capacity or to be an assisted collection or exactly where and how to present the bin on collection day.

An audit will be undertaken to establish the precise scale of and areas for the trial but it will be small-scale. The audit will consider areas of the borough which supported the introduction of wheelie bins as well as factors such as easily accessible streets and varied property types. It is anticipated that the trial will consist of about 5% of properties in the borough.

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