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Concern as three-weekly bin collections start in Salford

A trial that will see bins in Salford collected just once every three weeks is due to start next week.

The controversial change, first confirmed in November 2015, will see the collection of the domestic waste bins dropped from once every two weeks to once every three weeks.

The idea caused uproar when it was proposed by Salford City Council late last year.

But council is dealing with severe and swingeing budget cuts through the government’s austerity programme, and says the move could save the city hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

Food waste bins will still be collected weekly, while recyclables like paper and glass will be picked up once every two weeks.

Read: Those £21.8m Salford council budget cuts in full

Comments: Salford to trial three weekly bin collections

In a statement Salford City Council’s lead member for environment and community safety, Councillor David Lancaster said: “Salford’s waste disposal costs will increase significantly over the next three years if the city can’t increase recycling and reduce the costs of waste sent to landfill.

“This is at a time when it is important to reduce spending with pressures on council budgets to make £38 million of savings over the next two years.

“Disposing of waste into landfill is expensive and also harms the environment. Our pilot will test three weekly collections for residual non-recyclable waste in nine wards.

“Our data shows that over a third of the contents of general waste bins could be recycled, so there is potential for increasing recycling with the support of residents.

“Other local councils have either changed their collections or are planning to or have reduced the size of their bins, which is something Salford has not done.”

“With the weekly food and green waste collection, fortnightly recycling and three weekly non recyclable collection Salford residents have 560 litres of space to dispose of household waste – more than double the space they had back in 2008 with just one bin.

“Only the black bin collections are changing – the rest remain the same.”

The pilot is due to roll out in Irlam and Cadishead, Little Hulton, Walkden, Swinton, and Worsley.

In March 2017 parts of Kersal, Winton, Eccles, Ellesmere Park, Weaste and Seedley, Claremont and Langworthy will make the switch to bin collections once every three weeks.

Cuts-hit councils in nearby Rochdale and Bury have alreadly implemented three-weekly bin collections and according to Bury, a reduced collection would boost recycling rates to 60% and save around £800,000 a year.

Oldham is the latest council to make the switch, in a bid to save around £1.5m a year.

If it is deemed a success, the scheme will be extended to all areas across the city by August 2017.

But those protesting the decision aren’t willing to go down without a fight.

Local resident Blaine Oliver started a Change.org petition which has reached over 8,000 signatures and says his protest will go on to bring bin collections back to their former level.

Blaine said: “I think it’s shocking, if you look around Salford it’s a mess.

“Can you imagine three weeks worth of babies nappies or cat litter? Lots of people feel like there are paying for a service that consistently gets reduced but your council tax payments get bigger”

He added: “There are a lot of angry people that feel they recycle as much as they can.”

Below is a quick guide over the next six weeks, based on individual areas:

Irlam and Cadishead black bins will be collected on Tuesday 5 July and Tuesday 26 July.

Little Hulton, Walkden North and part of Walkden South black bins will be collected on Tuesday 12 July and Tuesday 2 August.

Ellenbrook, Walkden South, parts of Walkden North and parts of Little Hulton black bins will be collected on Tuesday 19 July and Tuesday 9 August.

Boothstown and Worsley black bins will be collected on Friday 8 July and Friday 29 July.

Swinton North and Swinton South black bins will be collected on Friday 15 July and Friday 5 August.

Pendlebury and parts of Swinton South black bins will be collected on Monday 11 July and Friday 12 August.

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