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Council income hit by collections strike

The bin dispute in Birmingham has cost the council at least £300,000 in lost income from recycled fibre, according to local reports.

The Birmingham Mail quoted a briefing from Labour cabinet member for cleaner streets Lisa Trickett that the council collected 697 tonnes of paper and cardboard during July and August 2017 whereas the total for the same period in 2016 was 3,853 tonnes.

Trickett estimated the loss at nearly £300,000.

The three-month dispute, in which operatives are working limited days, has led to a build-up of bin bags full of waste on city streets. In July, in a bid to reduce the piles, the council decided to mix recycling with residual household waste during collections.

The paper quoted concern from the opposition Conservative spokeswoman Deirdre Alden about the recycling regime when the dispute is resolved.

“Many people may feel so disillusioned and annoyed that they won’t bother separating their recycling in the future. It will take a long while to regain people’s trust and get our recycling levels up to what they were pre-strike.”

A deal with the Unite union was agreed in September. But the dispute was reignited when the council insisted on redundancies amid concern about the implications of the settlement on other council employees’ contracts.

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