Smaller black bins on the way next year as war on waste continues

Published on: 01 Aug 2016

HOUSEHOLDERS in South Gloucestershire will be given smaller black bins for their rubbish - but they will still be collected fortnightly.

Residents will have to hand over their 240 litre bins in exchange for a 140 litre bin from next summer. 

They will, however, will get their recycled waste collected every week instead of the current two weekly rota.

The current two weekly garden waste service remains unchanged and will still cost £30 a year, reduced from the previous £36.

The shake-up to services comes as South Gloucestershire Council aims to boost recycling rates and save money.

The authority’s environment and community services committee gave the green light to the ambitious new proposals saying more than half the contents placed in black bins could be recycled.

The plans form part of a new five-year waste strategy to increase recycling by 7,000 tonnes a year.

This aims to deliver a recycling rate of 55 per cent by 2020 and net savings for the council of between £800,000 and £1 million per year.

It follows a 14-week public consultation on proposed changes to waste and recycling collections which attracted 1,263 responses.

Between 83 and 90 per cent of those taking part agreed or strongly agreed with the council’s key priorities of reducing waste and promoting recycling. However 62 per cent of respondents said they did not agree with reducing the size of the black bins.

The weekly recycling collections will roll out next spring, with the new black bins being delivered in the summer.

Already an e-petition has been mounted over the plans. Resident David Anthony has started an online petition which, at the time Downend Voice went to print, had reached 1,198 signatures.

If the petition gathers more than 2,500 councillors will be obliged to debate the issue at a council meeting.

A report to the committee said South Gloucestershire generated more household waste per person than either Bristol, Swindon or Bath and North East Somerset.

The document said: "We are aware that the average contents of a black bin contains 52 percent of material that could be recycled using the kerbside service."

Under the new strategy:

 •
Kerbside recycling collection will become weekly

 •
Black bin collections will remain fortnightly 

 •
Standard household black bins will be reduced from 240 litres capacity to 140

 •
A new separate nappy collection, which will be collected fortnightly alongside the black bin

 •
Dedicated council support to help families increase their recycling

Any family which can demonstrate it is recycling everything that it can and is still generating more landfill waste than can fit in the new size bins will be able to apply to have the current sized larger bin. If successful they will be required to pay a £30 a year administration charge.

Councillor Heather Goddard, chair of the environment and community services committee, said: “Over half of the contents of the average black bin in South Gloucestershire could be recycled, cutting waste and saving taxpayers’ money.

“At a time when we’re looking to find £22 million in savings, cutting the amount it costs us to throw things away, money that could be better spent on other services, is clearly right. It is also supported by the overwhelming majority of residents.

“We recognise that residents will have to adjust to the new collection arrangements and have listened to what they have had to say.

"We have made concessions for families with young children in nappies and large families, by bringing in a separate nappy collection service and also offering the possibility of a larger bin where large families struggle to manage their waste even if they recycle all that they can.

"There will be no changes to the service for households with medical needs. Working together we can cut waste, increase recycling and save money.”

The petition can be found by visiting https://petitions.southglos.gov.uk/petitions.ti/smallbinrejection

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