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News story

New support for weekly rubbish collections

Friday, September 30 2011

Eric Pickles (Photo credit: Andrew Parsons)

Ahead of Conservative Party Conference, Conservative Ministers today announced a new Government initiative to support weekly bin collections - and deliver on the promises the Party made in Opposition.

The news follows on from the Government's Waste Review this June which reversed the Labour Government's policy of imposing fortnightly rubbish collections on local councils.

  • A new quarter of a billion pound fund from the Department for Communities and Local Government will help England's councils switch from fortnightly to better weekly collections, and will support councils keep and improve the weekly service they offer. The funding is additional central government funding, freed up by Eric Pickles' moves to cut Whitehall waste and inefficiency.
  • Councils which commit to retain or reinstate weekly collections of waste for at least 5 years can use the money to improve their rubbish collection service. The scheme will support reward schemes like Recyclebank in Conservative-run Windsor and Maidenhead, which combines weekly collection with rewards like M&S vouchers. It has increased the amount recycled by 35 per cent since its launch.
  • It will also support innovative technologies like Mechanical Biological Treatment facilities. These plants automatically separate out recyclable materials from residual waste. This avoids the need for multiple bin systems and 'bin blight'. It has helped Conservative-run Bournemouth Borough Council achieve a recycling rate of 64 per cent alongside its weekly collections.
  • And the scheme will also help councils save money from better procurement and contracts - freeing up money to spend on weekly collections.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:

"The last Labour Government ruthlessly forced councils into axing bin collections. Their policies of bin taxes, bin fines and bin cuts hammered hardworking households and fuelled fly-tipping. Weekly rubbish collections are the most visible of all frontline services and I believe every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week. Our fund will help councils deliver weekly collections and in the process make it easier for families to go green and improve the local environment."

Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:

"Hard pressed families across the country pay their council taxes and local authorities should be looking to deliver the kinds of frontline services that they want. This new fund will help councils whose residents want their rubbish collected more frequently to reinstate weekly bin rounds for smelly waste, while also seeking new and innovative ways to increase recycling and look after the environment.

"Conservative councils are already leading the way, with really successful schemes like Windsor and Maidenhead's weekly Recyclebank system, which has seen the amount recycled soar by 35 per cent since its launch."

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