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Biffa calls for cost-led service changes

Councils need to “take steps into the future” in the face of budget pressures, including considering controversial monthly refuse collections, Biffa has said.

The waste management firm is urging councils to rethink waste management services.

Biffa reports that nearly all of its 40 municipal clients have made some form of cuts to recycling, refuse and cleansing services. It predicts changes to the way refuse and recycling is handled as authorities look to slash waste budgets.

According to Biffa development director Pete Dickson, district, borough and county councils could work together for joint procurement or cross boundary services for greater efficiency.

Services offered to cut costs could include a greater use of wheeled bins for refuse and commingled recyclables, increased food waste collections and charging for garden waste. He claims this has boosted recycling rates and led to lower operational and landfill costs for some of Biffa clients.

Dickson also said that a four-weekly collection cycle was the logical next step - an idea recently mooted by the Isle of Anglesey council.

He said: “In Biffa’s experience, there is often little residual waste left when fortnightly refuse collections are bundled with weekly waste food collections and supported by a dry recycling policy that maximises diversion. That combination can make monthly refuse collection viable.”

  • In 2012, Bob Neill, the then Local Government Minister condemned the idea of councils introducing monthly collections, and said the suggestion “showing contempt for hardworking households”, The Telegraph reported.


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