Recycle rates prove bin overhaul is success


COUNCIL bosses in Wigan are set to ignore calls from ministers to return to weekly waste-bin collections citing improving recycling levels.

According to latest statistics, the borough had the most improved recycling rate in the North West and one of the best in the country from 2011 to 2013.

Earlier this month local government secretary Eric Pickles MP issued guidance calling on councils to back weekly collections.

But council bosses in Wigan said their current system was working and pointed to the figures, released by Defra, to back up their claim.

Coun Kevin Anderson thanked residents for their cooperation and commitment to the waste collection overhaul.

He said: “I know it has been difficult to get to grips with the new recycling arrangements but these figures show that we’re getting there which is excellent news.

“I’m extremely proud of everyone’s efforts and I hope we can continue to improve. Let’s see if we can help top the national leader board next time.”

The borough recycled 36.79 per cent of its waste in 2011/12, rising to 48.52 per cent in 2012/13, helping to save over £1m in disposal costs with the amount of waste now sent to landfill sites reduced to 17 per cent.

Wigan Council changed to fortnightly black bin collections in 2012, while other waste bins are collected on a similar rota basis.

The Government guidance - dubbed a bins bible - issued earlier this month, offers tips to local authorities on returning to weekly collections.

The guide says: “It is a clear myth that councils can’t get decent recycling rates without moving to a fortnightly collection of residual waste.”

It also suggests that fortnightly collections can lead to “vermin/smell/odour problems.”

Mr Pickles MP said: “Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120 a month council tax bill.

“People deserve a comprehensive weekly service in return for their taxes.

“Across Britain there is a clear choice on offer. The Government is standing up for weekly collections and for hard-working people and getting rid of barmy bin policies which made families’ lives hell.”