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Councils cool on bin collection cash offer

The £250m pot to encourage councils to commit to weekly bin collections has prompted limited interest, a survey has found.

A snapshot survey by the Local Government Association as part of a submission to the Department for Communities & Local Government found that just one in five (22%) of respondents would seek cash to support  weekly residual waste collection - but all already had such a collection in place.

The survey found much greater support for weekly food waste collections, with over half (51%) of respondents saying they would bid for cash support.

The remaining respondents were split between a range of different answers, none of which emerged as statistically significant, an LGA spokesman said, meaning there was no significant backing for the use of the fund to reinstate weekly residual waste collections.

Around 56% of councils in England currently operate fortnightly residual waste collections in a move that has been shown to boost recycling rates.

However, it is not clear if the DCLG scheme will allow bids to support weekly food waste collections, with communities secretary Eric Pickles failing to distinguish between food waste and residual waste.

When announcing the scheme in September, Mr Pickles said he believed “every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week”.

An LGA briefing on the scheme said Mr Pickles wanted it to focus on encouraging councils to revert to weekly residual waste collections, with funding given to councils on the basis of a guarantee that they do so for at least five years.

However, environment secretary Caroline Spelman said the scheme would be used to “reinstate weekly bin rounds for smelly waste”, suggesting it could be open to bids for weekly food waste only collections.

A DCLG spokesman would not comment on whether the scheme would include bids for weekly food waste collections, saying further details would be forthcoming.

This article was first carried by our sister title LGC

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