Bid for £3.4m to continue weekly bin collections

Wheelie bins.
Wheelie bins.

COUNCIL officials are bidding for £3.4m of government funding so they can afford to continue doing bin rounds every week.

At their meeting on Monday, cabinet members at North Tyneside Council approved a final application for the cash.

The funding is part of £250m being spent nationwide over the next three years.

A report to the cabinet said maintaining the current weekly collections would require a considerable amount of money which might otherwise be difficult to come by.

The money would also help the authority buy new wheelie bins and pay for more campaigns to encourage people to recycle more of their waste.

It would allow the council to buy 675 more recycling-on-the-go bins too for siting around the borough.

Ed Hodson, the authority’s cabinet member for transport and the environment, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to prepare such a comprehensive funding bid.

“If approved, it will enable us not to only maintain a weekly waste collection to all 95,000 households for the next five years, but also to improve the service residents receive.

“We’d be able to deliver a campaign to help increase recycling rates and also provide hundreds more on-street recycling bins.”

The council is expected to find out in October if its bid has been successful.

However, concerns have been raised that if the bid fails, the council could be forced to consider moving to a fortnightly collection.

The bid document states: “If our bid is unsuccessful, members will be asked to consider a business case for moving to a fortnightly waste collection for all 95,000 households, with no separate weekly food waste collection, in order to meet immediate budget pressures.”

Coun Hodson, of Whitley Bay’s St Mary’s ward, added: “While I’m confident our bid will be a success, it’s important we consider the implications if our application is not approved.

“This does not necessarily mean that fortnightly collections would be introduced.

“My personal view is that weekly collections should be retained.

“It’s one of the services most valued by our residents.”

Battle Hill Labour councillor Dave McGarr, a former cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Charging £20 for collecting your garden waste is bad enough. Collecting your household bin fortnightly is unacceptable.

“I know that the current bin collection is very popular with residents, highly efficient and, at a cost of only £102 per household, excellent value for money.

“This service should be retained on a weekly collection regardless of the outcome of the bid, and I would expect the elected mayor of North Tyneside to make that commitment public.”