Councillors in Gateshead have approved proposals to introduce new alternate weekly bin collections across the borough.
Members attending this Thursday’s Council meeting (24 November, 2011) agreed to changes in bin collection arrangements for most homes in the borough which will see household waste collected one week and recycling the following week, instead of the current system where waste is collected each week.
The change was prompted by recent substantial decreases in the amount of household waste collected by Gateshead following the introduction of new, bigger recycling bins.
Over 85 per cent of Gateshead residents now recycle regularly and the amount of household waste collected for recycling has risen by 45 per cent since the introduction of the new bins.
Councillors also agreed to a redesign of collection routes and changes to working practices – including compressing the working week into four longer days rather than the current five - to make collections more efficient, use fewer vehicles and avoid disruptions to collections caused by Bank Holiday Mondays.
It is anticipated that the new alternate weekly collection arrangements could achieve cost savings of around £400,000 per year.
The new arrangements follow detailed consultations with householders in which around 59% of householders said they supported the changes.
Councillor Peter Mole, Gateshead Council’s Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “The way that people in Gateshead deal with their rubbish has undergone major change in recent years. There’s been a significant increase in recycling and the quantity of household rubbish going into landfill has reduced accordingly.
“None of this is accidental. We have worked hard to promote recycling as the costs of landfill has risen, but in most cases we have been pushing at an open door – the public want to recycle more and expect us to do more to help them.
“We are therefore in a different position now to where we were just a few years ago, yet the way we collect household rubbish has remained unaltered.
“It’s therefore right that we respond to those changes in the way the public disposes of its rubbish and look to make the service we deliver as efficient as we possibly can.”
Gateshead’s new collection arrangements will be introduced in March 2012 and householders will be given full details on how their collections will be affected during February 2012.