Councils rubbish Pickles’ bin round payments proposal

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Councils have overwhelmingly rejected a £250m Government bid to encourage them to switch back from fortnightly to weekly bin collections, research shows.

Just one local authority bid for Whitehall funding to return to weekly bin rounds, but dozens applied for cash to bring in or extend separate food waste collections, according to information from all 326 English collection authorities.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles first announced the pot of money before last autumn’s Conservative party conference to improve weekly rubbish collections and reverse the trend towards picking up household rubbish only once every two weeks.

But of 216 councils who pick up rubbish and recycling on alternate weeks, just one wants to increase the frequency of bin collections to weekly, research by Materials Recycling World (MRW) magazine and local authority waste and recycling consultant Jennie Rogers, of askjennie.com, showed.

Labour-run Stoke-on-Trent City Council is proposing to increase collection for both rubbish and recycling from fortnightly to weekly for more than 88,000 homes, MRW and Ms Rogers said.

Another five authorities have bid for funding to return to weekly collections where they have challenging situations such as flats, but not for the majority of residents.

The research found 45 councils wanted money for separate food waste collections.

The weekly bin collection funding is available to councils which return to or maintain weekly waste collections, which Mr Pickles has described as a “basic right”, and to cut the number of bins for householders, bring in weekly food waste rounds and boost recycling.

The survey is the latest to show local authorities rejecting efforts to get them to revert to weekly rubbish collections, with councils raising concerns over rising costs and falling recycling rates if they were to do so.

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