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Proposed changes to the way residents collect recyclable rubbish

Release date: 
Friday, 7 June, 2019

Burnley Council is considering changing the way it collects recyclable materials across the borough.

It follows an extensive review of the borough’s waste collection service in light of issues raised by local people.

Any changes would apply only to recyclable materials; there are no proposals to alter the fortnightly general (claret bin) waste collection. Garden waste collections, for those subscribing to the service, would also remain unchanged.

Currently recyclable materials such as paper, glass, cans and plastics are collected every fortnight in sacks and boxes.

A report to the council’s scrutiny committee and executive proposes that wheelie bins are provided to just over half the homes in the borough to collect recyclable materials in. The remaining households would continue to use the blue box and white sack system.

At the start of the review the council said it would be looking at a system tailored to meet the needs of as many households as possible.

The proposed changes would mean:

Households with new wheelie bin service:

  • Around 22,000 homes would get two 240 litre wheelie bins – one for glass, cans and plastic, and one for paper and card
  • Claret wheelie bins (general household waste) would continue to be collected every other week
  • Recycling bins would be emptied every four weeks
  • Initially bins would be provided free of charge; subsequent requests for replacement bins would be charged

Households staying with existing box and bag system:

  • Around 20,000 homes will stay with the existing system
  • They would be issued with improved sealable white sacks for paper and card; they will also be weighted to stop them blowing away after collection
  • Blue boxes would continue to be used to collect glass, cans and plastic
  • Collections would continue as they are now ie claret bin one week and recyclable materials the next, on an alternate week basis.

Councillor Cosima Towneley, the council’s executive member for community and environmental services, said: “The review looked at the way we collect recycling and whether the system could be improved by adopting a wheelie bin system instead and, if so, how we would do that.

“It quickly became clear that there isn’t a simple answer as different households have different circumstances. Some houses have space for wheelie bins, others don’t. Some people want to see wheelie bins introduced, others are happy with the current system.

“Our aim has been to find a ‘best fit’ system that works in the best way possible for our residents overall. We also want to make recycling easier for our residents and continue to improve the cleanliness of our streets.

“We worked with our waste collection contractor Urbaser and looked at the different collection rounds across our borough. We identified the areas where households generally had storage space and wheelie bins would work best, and those areas where, for example, there are only small back yards where the bin and bag system provides the flexibility those residents find works for them.

“If the proposals are agreed we will work with residents to make sure they know exactly which system they are using, how to collect recyclable rubbish, and when it will be collected. The aim would be to make any changes as efficient and seamless as possible.

“We are confident the new system will improve the way we collect recyclable materials, encourage residents to recycle more and help improve the cleanliness of our streets.”

The report will be discussed at scrutiny committee on 17th June before going to the executive for a decision on 18th June.

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