Weekly rubbish rounds binned

The new look refuse collection day in Wigan with garden waste bins and recycle sacks
The new look refuse collection day in Wigan with garden waste bins and recycle sacks

WIGAN Council will NOT consider applying for a Government grant to maintain weekly bin collections.

That was the decision made at a meeting of Full Council when a motion put forward by coun Gary Wilkes was thrown out by 49 votes to 19.

Coun Wilkes, an Independent Bryn councillor, had called on Cabinet to consider taking advantage of the Government’s additional funding to maintain weekly black bin collections of general household waste.

But after a debate in Council Chambers the general consensus was that the amount of funding from the grant would not outweigh the savings that could be made by making the service fortnightly as of September next year.

Coun Wilkes said: “I have conducted my own straw poll on this issue and 90 per cent of the people who responded wanted their black bins collected weekly.

“Well over half of all councils in the UK have fortnightly bin collections and Wigan will be a new comer to that come next year.

“But this decision will go against the views of most of the people in the borough.”

Independent Atherton coun Norman Bradbury, who seconded the motion, said that a council press release on September 30 claimed that fortnightly collections would save £0.416m in 2012/13.

But he said: “This saving will be offset by the additional cost of facilitating the controversial food waste collection.”

Earlier this year the Government announced that it would make £250m available to help English councils keep or restore weekly bin collections.

Only councils which guarantee weekly collections for five years and demonstrate improvements in recycling and procurement are eligible.

Coun Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The Government’s offer is really a big con.

“The move to fortnightly collections will save more than £14m between now and 2020, and this change will see recycling rates up to about 50 per cent. The cost of the Government grant would be spread over five years, so could actually equate to very little.

“After five years the council would have to go back to the drawing board.”