Tameside Borough Council is the latest Greater Manchester authority to lay out plans to boost recycling and reduce residual waste capacity, with councillors approving a new collection system to be brought in by September 2015 after a trial of the scheme in around 4,000 homes in four areas across the borough indicated that the change could lead to a reduction in residual waste tonnages of around 25%.
Tameside will not be following its fellow Greater Manchester Waste Authority councils Bury and Rochdale, who have opted to reduce the frequency of residual waste collections from fortnightly to three-weekly in a bid to boost their recycling performance.
Councillors in Tameside have instead opted to reduce the container capacity available to residents for the collection of residual waste from 240 litres to 140 litres. Residents also have a 240 litre brown bin for mixed garden and food waste and a 140 litre blue bin for paper and card. The brown and blue bins will remain unchanged.
The ‘Bin Swap’, see residents switch over their current black wheeled bin for residual waste with the green bin which is used to collect glass, metals and plastic for recycling.
Tameside have backed the initiative as it will require no capital investment, and there will be no need to alter existing collection routes – which operate on a fortnightly basis for recyclables and residual waste, as well as organic waste.
According to a report approved by councillors at a meeting last week (June 24), action is required to reduce the amount of money that the council is spending to landfill waste, which currently costs it around £288 per tonne through its contract with the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority. Tameside recorded a 39.5% recycling rate in 2013/14.
A trial of the scheme in around 4,000 homes in four areas across the borough was undertaken in late 2013, which indicated that the change could lead to a reduction in residual waste tonnages of around 25%.
The report also noted that householders were receptive to the scheme, adding: “The results of the pilot area surveys show that just under seven in 10 households found it easy to adapt to the bin swap. And just over six in 10 now recycle at every opportunity as a result of the bin swap.”
The study also found “Overall capacity for the disposal of household waste wass unchanged. Tracking data showing the amount of waste presented at the kerbside remains the same or slightly up meaning that exactly the same or even more waste is being disposed of by households in house to house collections and the distribution across various bins by separating into recyclates and landfill waste means that there is a significant reduction in cost.”
The council also assessed the viability of purchasing smaller residual waste bins, but noted that the capital cost would be in the region of around £3 million.
A potential switch to a three-weekly collection schedule was suggested, which would bring Tameside in line with its Greater Manchester partners Bury and Rochdale. However the suggestion was rejected as it was noted that the move would not provide any additional capacity for recycling and that a move to a three-weekly schedule is likely to be unpopular with householders.