Black bin collections could become less frequent

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Cheshire East Council is considering reducing the frequency of black bin collections to help fund the introduction of weekly food waste collections across the borough.

'Simpler Recycling Scheme' legislation announced in October 2023 means that all local authorities must collect food waste from their residents on a weekly basis by no later than 1 April 2026.

Next week, the council's environment and communities committee will consider a report that seeks approval to move forward with plans for rolling out the changes in Cheshire East – based on a proposal to collect food waste alongside the fortnightly garden bin rounds, and then separately as a food waste round in the alternate weeks.

The council is also proposing to consult on plans to move to collecting black bins once every three weeks. If implemented, these changes would be delivered at the same time as the weekly food waste collections begin.

It is estimated that by doing this, it could increase recycling rates by almost 5 per cent, as well as reduce the financial burden of introducing weekly food waste collections in Cheshire East by more than £1m each year.

Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council's environment and communities committee, said: "Introducing weekly food waste collections is a significant operational change affecting almost all our residents, and the financial impacts will also be significant.

"At the moment, we don't know how much funding we will receive from Government to compensate the council for introducing these changes, and there's a significant risk that the funding won't cover the costs in full.

"Any shortfall will place an even bigger pressure on the council's finances – we're already forecasting a funding gap of £100m over the next four years.

"That's why – along with wishing to encourage people to reduce, reuse and recycle more of their waste – at the same time as weekly food waste collections are introduced, we're proposing to move to collecting black bins once every three weeks.

"It offers the best value for money and would reduce the demand on our existing fleet of bin wagons and staff and make a significant revenue saving in excess of £1m per year."

In late 2023, a consultation was launched by the Government which included draft guidance requiring councils to collect residual (black bin) waste each fortnight as a minimum.

The council responded to this consultation, saying that this would have a detrimental impact on the ability of councils to increase recycling rates and to be able to join up large-scale operational changes because of weekly food waste collections.

Cllr Warren added: "We understand that as a local authority, if the guidance is passed by Government through the Parliamentary process, we could not make these proposed changes to black bin collections.

"However, we are proposing to carry out this consultation now so that we are in a position to move forward with what is the most cost effective and least risky solution for introducing weekly food waste collections, which can also meet the deadline previously set by the Government."

Subject to committee approval, the consultation on black bin collections is expected to launch in September. The feedback received will be considered before final proposals are developed and brought back to committee for a decision later this year.

UPDATED Monday 15th July

Cheshire East Council has provided the following clarification:

"The recommendation, which we are seeking approval from the environment and communities committee to implement, is that residents would be given a new separate food bin (not a wheelie bin but larger than a kitchen caddy) which would be emptied each week.

"During the first week, these new bins would be emptied by the same vehicles carrying out garden waste collections. For clarity – whether someone had subscribed to the garden waste service or not, they would receive a separate food bin.

"During the alternate weeks, the food waste bins would be collected by other fleet vehicles that only collect food waste and no other materials.

"The council is also proposing to consult on plans to move to collecting black bins once every three weeks.

"If implemented, this change to collection frequencies would be implemented at the same time as the weekly food waste collections begin."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Andy Brown
Thursday 11th July 2024 at 7:07 am
Higher council tax. Fewer services.

Marvellous.
Steven Mccrory
Thursday 11th July 2024 at 9:26 am
This Council can find money for woke tree hugging hair brained schemes at the drop of a hat. We need our bins emptied as per we pay more and more each year, yet one by one our services are cut. All it will lead to is more costs in clearing fly tippers waste. As now most of the tips a closing as well.
Total utter jokers
Debbie Scott
Thursday 11th July 2024 at 9:31 am
I thought food waste went in your green garden bins! What about people who do not subscribe to the green bins? Does this mean there will be another bin especially for food? Surely it would be better just to keep the green bins for both garden and food and scrap the charge!
Jon Williams
Thursday 11th July 2024 at 10:58 am
I think it's time we "Binned the Council" all C/E want is more of our money and what do we get less money spent on services, roads, schools, etc. etc. But yet they pay ridiculous salaries at the top:

CHESHIRE EAST PAY AND GRADING STRUCTURES
JNC Cheshire East Pay and Grading Structure from 1 April 2023
This table shows Senior Manager pay grades and salaries:
Pay Band Grade
FTE Salary
(01/04/2023 –
31/03/2024)
Executive Director
CX2 £145,193
CX3 £139,464
CX4 £128,008
Director
D1 (a) £113,001
D1 (b) £105,096
D2 £101,316
D3 £95,474
D4 £89,630
D5 £83,778
Alan Brough
Thursday 11th July 2024 at 8:50 pm
@Jon Williams

You have to pay for “The Talent!”

Yes, it’s pathetic. There IS no talent… obviously.

It’s like the children’s fable of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
… they’re all stark bollo(k naked, but we seem hard-wired to keep complimenting them on the quality of their threads
Pete Taylor
Monday 15th July 2024 at 9:31 am
The new weekly food collection is a mandatory nonsense from the recently disposed of Westminster Conservative “government” and all local Councils are now saddled with it.
Alan Brough
Monday 15th July 2024 at 8:46 pm
The “update” now talks about other weeks, when the moon is in the fifth phase, the food waste will be collected by a crew who aren’t collecting anything else.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to see what and where the cost saving / efficiency lies.
Tony Haluradivth
Monday 15th July 2024 at 9:18 pm
Hello more rats and vermin to local areas.. this is what happened to other Councils which went on the 3 weekly cycle. Here is a tip Sam Corcroran "it a'int broke , so DON'T fix it please". Bin collection is one CEC service which has worked...3 weeks is too long a wait for big households . I agree with above commenters we do not need extra flytipping.

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