Trafford Council rejects Pickles fund money

Trafford Council has confirmed that it has rejected an offer of £6.4 million to maintain weekly collections of residual waste from Eric Pickles’s Weekly Collection Support Scheme (WCSS), as maintaining the service would not be ‘cost-effective’. 

Yesterday (19 February), the council revealed that it would be switching to alternate weekly collections (AWC) of ‘black bag’ waste from residents (supported by weekly food and garden waste collections), after finding that maintaining weekly residual waste collections over the next five years would cost the council £11.6 million and would not be a viable financial option.

Writing on its website, the council said: ‘The final decision regarding general waste collections was delayed following an offer from central government of £6.4 million to maintain weekly general waste collections over the next five years. A detailed financial analysis, which included updated waste collection data, was carried out which revealed that [it] would cost the council £11.6 million to maintain the weekly general waste collections during this period, therefore not making it cost-effective.’ 

The council added that weekly general waste collections would also ‘make it more difficult to improve Trafford's recycling rate’ (which last year sat at 49 per cent), adding to growing support for using AWC as an effective means of boosting recycling rates. 

Changes have ‘huge long-term benefits’ 

Jonathan CoupeSpeaking of the changes to the recycling system, Executive Councillor Jonathan Coupe, said: "Trafford residents have told us they would welcome more opportunities to get involved in recycling so I'm delighted that we are able to offer them a more modern collection service, in line with the rest of Greater Manchester, which allows them to make even more of a difference to our environment and to the public purse. 

“There are huge long-term benefits associated with these changes, and areas where similar schemes have been implemented are already seeing recycling rates rising and landfill costs falling considerably. 

"I would like to reassure residents that we will work closely with them to ensure they are confident in using the updated service." 

Kitchen caddies and compostable bin liners for food waste will be rolled out to residents in the run up to the changes in service, along with detailed information on the new service.

According to the council, the decision to make changes to the service was made following results from a council commissioned survey by research agency BMG, which found that residents wanted more support to enable them to recycle more food waste. 

The new service is expected to be rolled out across the borough ‘during spring and summer 2013’. 

Dry recyclables will continue to be collected every four weeks. 

Read more about recycling in Trafford.