A number of Greater Manchester councillors have warned that local residents “will go mad” if they’re forced to have seven different wheelie bins.
The government is looking to introduce new measures to standardise the waste collection process in England from 2023 in a bid to boost recycling rates as part of its proposed Environment Bill, and it means that households could be issued four bins for dry recyclables, as well as separate containers for non-recyclable materials, garden waste, and food waste.
As part of the process shake-up, the government is also pushing for food waste to be collected separately and on a weekly basis.
But Greater Manchester is hoping to avoid the changes.
The region’s waste and recycling committee fear that the proposals will lead to “streets full of bins” and clutter that could block pavements for people with mobility issues.
Waste officials also say that some homes in the region, such as terraced houses and apartment blocks, may not even be able to accommodate the new bins, and on top of that, the extra lorries needed to collect the additional bins could cause congestion and an increase in vehicle emissions.
Concerns have also been raised about a potential lack of drivers to man the bin lorries, as earlier this month, collections were stopped in South Manchester due to national shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers and COVID-related issues.
This is just one of the reasons why the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has made the case to the government that the four-bin system should remain in place.
Labour councillors for Bury, Trafford, and Stockport have all voiced their concerns.
Speaking at a waste and recycling committee on earlier this month, Allan Quinn – Labour Councillor for Bury said: “I think we’re paying the price for being 20 years ahead of the game [as] we’ve got a system that works, and if it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it.
“Residents will go mad over this.”
On the other hand, Conservative councillor Adele Warren said that she could see the merits in weekly food collections, even if it will be “incredibly challenging”.
She pointed out that local authorities in Greater Manchester are striving towards carbon neutrality by 2038, and that this could lead to more food waste being turned into a type of renewable energy called biogas to help towards that goal.
The government is expected to respond to local authorities in the autumn, with further consultation on statutory guidance and minimum service standards expected in 2022.
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