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Council plans to end food collections

Wolverhampton civic centre

A local authority is considering scrapping a food waste collection service to save money, saying it was unpopular.

City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet is expected to back a consultation on changes to its recycling services, which it hopes will save £2.4m a year.

It says the annual cost of recycling services at £11.5m is no longer affordable due to Government funding cuts. In addition, a five-year £2.3m weekly collections grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government will end in April 2017.

Because of this, it proposes to switch to fortnightly residual waste collections, joining more than 75% of other UK councils.

Wolverhampton recommends ending its food waste recycling service, which it says is used by only 20% of households, as well as:

  • Charging residents £35 annually for a garden waste service, running from the end of February to the beginning of December
  • Increasing opening hours at the city’s two HWRCs and creating a new ’super-site’ to replace them

Steve Evans, council cabinet member for city environment, said spending cuts was not the only reason for the proposed changes.

He said: “There are other issues driving the need to change, such as more people renting, more single-person households and more people shopping online meaning more packaging to dispose of. It is simply not sustainable to continue to do things in the same way.

“We have reviewed the options very carefully. We believe that what we are proposing offers the least disruption to residents but, at the same time, will deliver the required savings.

“The changes we are proposing are a 10-year plan so, if implemented, we would be able to protect the service for at least a decade. Change is always difficult and opinions will be mixed over what we are proposing, but there will be a consultation where people can give us their views.”

Details of how people can take part in the consultation will be released after the cabinet meeting.

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