Central Government have awarded Birmingham City Council in the region of £30m in funding from its £250 million weekly collection scheme programme to assist in the new service.
However, due to the availability of the grant, manufacturers have been inundated with orders for around six million wheelie bins and they only have capacity to produce 10,000 per week.
Why are refuse sacks being replaced with wheelie bins?
The Council says it can no-longer afford to continue with the current refuge collection scheme and has been evaluating ways to save money by reducing landfill and incinerator charges, while generating a higher income from recycling.
Birmingham’s recycling rate in 2012/2013 was 32.31% and through the new collection scheme, the Council hopes to hit a 50% rate by 2020, rising to 60% by 2026.
The bins will also help reduce litter spilling onto the street through ripped bag and vermin problems, making the city a much cleaner and healthier place to live.
The results of a public consultation, held between February and May 2013, found that 91% of people thought the Council needed to do more to increase recycling and reduce refuge, but only 51% agreed wheelie bins would be good for Birmingham.
The Council also operated a 6 week independent pilot scheme, assessed by WRAP (Waste Resources Action Partnership), in the districts of Brandwood, 8,916 homes and Harborne, 7,098 homes with the results returning a positive outcome.
- General household waste decreased by 23.75% with the replacement of black sacks to wheelie bins
- An increase of 20.22% was recorded on the volume of recycled paper collected
- Recyclable plastic and metal collections soared by a staggering 40.35%
- Brandwood recorded an increase of 54% in levels of street cleanliness, while Harborne streets were 50% cleaner
- Pre and post wheelie bin delivery surveys found 91% of residents are now satisfied/very satisfied with their new collection service, while 77% think it has had a positive effect on the cleanliness of the ward
Commenting on the pilot scheme, Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “The pilot project has shown that wheelie bins can work in Birmingham and I am encouraged by the results we have achieved.
Overall residents are happy with the scheme, recycling tonnages are up, and the waste we have to incinerate or send to landfill is down – helping save the taxpayer money, also benefitting the environment in the process.”
Sutton Coldfield Rural understands the overall investment by the Birmingham City Council will cost £62 million in total and also includes the acquisition of 148 new vehicles and upgrades to its four depots.