Mobile HWRC trial gains community support in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has been trialling Mobile Household Recycling Centres (MHRCs), with the initiative seeing 188.4 tonnes of waste collected in total.

The council underscores the ‘significant support from the community’ shown towards the campaign, which began its operations in mid-July. 5.5 tonnes of paper and card, as well as 2.7 tonnes of textiles, were deposited at the mobile centres in their first month-and-a-half of operation. The governing body believes that, since the figures only cover half of the four-month period that the MHRCs are being rolled out, these numbers will continue to rise.

Mobile Household Recycling CentreEach centre comprises three vehicles: regular refuse collection vehicles for non-reusable waste; vehicles for transporting items that are to be reused by charities; and vehicles consisting of multiple compartments that enable the public to drop off waste for collection by material type, similar to a conventional Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC). Items intended for reuse are taken to the newly opened reuse shop at Tyseley’s Household Recycling Centre.

The types of waste that can be presented at the mobile centres are detailed on a dedicated page which can be accessed via Birmingham City Council’s website. Opening hours are being promoted by local councillors, community groups, and hyperlocal websites and social media accounts.

The new centres form part of a wider £7.2 million investment into street scene services undertaken by the council. The Cleaner Greener Streets scheme recognises that citizen surveys note cleaner streets and efficient waste collection as consistently high priorities for the population of Birmingham.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, commented: “We know that not everybody can easily get to one of traditional Household Recycling Centres. This pilot project is all about looking at how we can take a service out to our communities, rather than them having to come to us.

“It’s still early days, but the tonnage data is encouraging. We know cleaner, greener, streets are something people in this city care about passionately, so we will look at the numbers and the feedback we are receiving to ensure this is having the maximum positive impact possible.

“Residents and councillors in areas that have received an MHRC visit are all telling us how much they welcome the service. The project shows we are open to new ideas and will consider anything that makes it easy to dispose of waste and unwanted items in a simple and environmentally responsible way.”