Fortnightly black bins offer ‘best deal’

EVIDENCE of the benefits of switching to fortnightly black bin collections in Sheffield is to be presented to councillors, who will make the final decisions on the future of the city’s waste management.

A council working group was given the job of assessing options to help provide a better bin service, improve recycling and save money – and to assess public reaction.

It was not asked to make recommendations but its findings will add some weight to the argument for household waste in black bins to be collected fortnightly instead of weekly.

“Alternate weekly collection provides the greatest opportunity for reducing the environmental impact of bins and delivering savings,” says the working group’s report.

At the same time, it is argued that any reduction in the frequency of bins being emptied must be accompanied by improvements to recycling.

“Making it easier for residents to recycle should be a priority, particularly if general waste capacity were to be reduced. The consultation indicated that a single bin, co-mingled collection service, which enables residents to recycle an increased range of materials, particularly plastics, is the preferred way to do this.

“Although not financially viable in the current climate, this should be considered as a longer-term aim for service delivery.”

The consultation showed that satisfaction with the existing black bin service ran at 91% of respondents, but 58% of respondents’ black bins were half full or less each week.

It was clear that the blue box was not liked by local people, and that the garden waste collection system was not consistent across the city.

The Labour council is looking to save £6m over the next two years while trying to improve the waste management service. Cabinet members will consider the report in producing their findings. Opposition Liberal Democrats want to keep the weekly black bin collection.