Strict limits on Pickles’ bin fund

Author: Allister Hayman, Local Government Chronicle   |  

Councils will only be able to bid for a share of Eric Pickles’ œ250m bin collections pot if they commit to weekly residual waste collections, officials have said.

In a move that apparently rules out bids for cash to fund weekly food waste collections, David Prout, director general of localism at the Department for Communities & Local Government, told MPs the fund would be reserved for councils whose bids met three key criteria.

One of these would be retaining or reinstating weekly residual waste collections, he said.

?It’s about three things: it’s about reinstating or retaining a weekly black bag collection – in other words, so you as a household get your rubbish collected every week – and it’s about improving environmental performance, and it’s about improving value for money,? he told the communities and local government select committee.
The insistence on weekly residual waste collection comes despite evidence that fortnightly residual waste collections boost recycling rates. Currently around 56% of councils in England operate fortnightly residual waste collections.

Earlier this month a snapshot survey by the Local Government Association found limited support from councils to bid to the œ250m to support the reinstatement of weekly residual waste collections.

But the survey found around half of respondents would bid to support weekly food waste collections, if the fund allowed it.

Gary Porter, chair of the LGA Conservative group, said the LGA was lobbying ministers to open the fund to support weekly food waste collections, but Mr Prout’s comments appear to have ruled this option out.

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