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MRW's bin survey quoted in Commons report

The role of MRW in revealing how local authorities had rejected efforts by the communities secretary Eric Pickles to get them to re-adopt weekly bin collections has been marked in a Parliamentary report.

A policy analyst for the House of Common Library has submitted a summary of the issues around collection, alternate weekly schemes (AWCs) and Pickles’ Weekly Collections Support Scheme.

The report charts the benefits of AWC, the trend towards implementing the system, arguments around health risk, cost of reversion and general Government policy.

When Pickles launched his fund, he announced a pot of “£250m [to] support councils to deliver a weekly collection of household waste and improve the environment”.

But the report author, science and environment policy analyst Oliver Bennett, notes the scheme will not be leading to widespread reinstatement of weekly bin collections where they have been replaced by AWC.

“Most of the bids appear to ‘support’ existing weekly collections alongside various enhancements to recycling services such as food waste collections,” he wrote. “Forty-one of the (90) bids include recycling reward schemes such as shopping vouchers.”

And he points out that MRW’s survey in September 2012 indicated only one council (Stoke) will move households with AWC back to a weekly collection, although a handful of authorities may partially revert back to a weekly collection.

The report concludes: “This was taken by some commentators as councils rejecting weekly bin collections” and quotes John Skidmore, president of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management as saying: “the response shows most local authorities do not believe a mass return to weekly collection of residual waste is a positive move… for me, it underlines the fact that the government’s thinking on this front is out of line and out of date”.

  • More on this in the next issue of MRW magazine, 22 February.

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