THE much-discussed move to have certain bin collections done every three weeks rather than two may be fully implemented by Tameside Council in November.
Four areas – Ridge Hill in Stalybridge, Hyde central – Hyde, Denton’s Haughton Green and Dukinfield’s Richmond Park – are currently the guinea pigs regarding blue and black recycling bins.
For 12 weeks, which started at the beginning of August, crews will only take them every 21 days as part of a scheme that may be rolled out across Tameside.
Green bin (non-recyclable waste) and brown bin (food and garden waste) will remain the same but if it is a success, a decision is set to be made in November.
A number of reasons are behind the plan, predominantly financial ones as it will save Tameside Council £260,000 a year if the trial is adopted.That and other changes can save about £370,000, according to a council report.
Other reasons behind the blue (paper) and black (cans, bottles, glass and plastic) change, which sees the former revert to its 2016 frequency, include a reduction in the amount of waste collected since 2017.
It can also see a reduction of nine staff, although they will be entirely agency workers and not full-time employees, and wages saved, plus the costs of running three vehicles.
Even the four pilot areas are targeted because of their differing populations.
Haughton Green has a higher than average proportion of disabled and over 65-year-old residents, Richmond Park more carers, Hyde central more under 16s, Bangladeshi/Bangladeshi British and Muslims and Ridge Hill more under 16s, carers, and people of no religion.
Ian Saxon, Tameside Council’s director of operations and neighbourhoods, explained the reasons for the trials.
He said: “We believe there’s capacity in the system and there’s the ability to adjust the frequency of collection of our recycling services. We want to test that theory
“We believe we can reduce the frequency of collection of the blue and black bins but we don’t want to move to a borough-wide approach at this stage.
“We wouldn’t go to a situation of rolling it out borough-wide without explaining the findings of that.
“We’ll also carry out borough-wide consultation and engagement to get a more detailed understanding of people’s ability to adjust.
“There are significant potential savings here.”
Households involved in the three-month pilot will receive a letter explaining more and giving details of how they can give feedback.
Councillor Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, community safety and environment, added: “We, like every other council in the country, are under enormous pressure to make financial savings.
“The changes in policies proposed could make a huge difference for relatively little pain.
“Research tells us that the majority of the black and blue recycling bins aren’t full when collected but it is important to us to check the proposals will work and find out what people think.”