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Bin collections every 3 weeks

Reporter: Alex Carey
Date online: 21 June 2016

OLDHAM Council has revealed plans to reduce bin collections to just once every three weeks.

The authority is set to consider the plans with an aim to boost recycling rates and save money with changes to how rubbish and recycling is collected across the borough. The proposals, which will go before Cabinet on June 27, would see a "simplified" three-weekly collection cycle introduced with one rubbish or recycling bin being emptied each week.

Grey bins would be emptied one week, blue bins the following week and brown bins the week after that. Green food and garden waste bins would still be emptied every week.

The Taxpayers' Alliance has criticised Oldham Council's proposal, referring to it as "a drastic cut to one of the most basic services".

In 2014, Bury Council became the first authority in the country to reduce bin collections to once every three weeks and the change was met by heavy criticism from local residents, with an increase in fly-tipping and vermin highlighted.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council's Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and co-operatives, said: "Over the next two years the council needs to make £37million worth of savings, which means we need to do things differently. Doing nothing is not an option.

"The changes would see recycling rates increase and reduce the cost of disposal ­- helping to save taxpayers' money so it can be used on other essential public services.

"We are given clear targets to meet and there are huge financial penalties on council taxpayers because we are not recycling enough.

"Bury and Rochdale have been operating similar collection arrangements for some time now and they have seen increases in their recycling rates.

"Residents should be reassured that the continuation of weekly collections for food waste and garden waste will eliminate the potential for bad smells and flies, particularly during the summer months."

The new strategy, which would be introduced in early October, has been developed to complement Greater Manchester's Waste Management Strategy. Its key aims are to increase recycling to more than 54 per cent by 2017 and reduce the amount spent on the disposal of general waste.

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Reducing bin collection to once every three weeks is a drastic cut to one of the most basic services taxpayers expect their council to provide.

"How many households will be able to hygienically retain three weeks' worth of rubbish? Local residents will rightly be wondering what exactly their council tax is going towards, particularly as Oldham Council has increased tax 14 times over the last 20 years."

Although Bury has seen an increase in recycling since implementing a similar system, fly-tipping incidents from April, 2014, to May, 2015, increased by 53 per cent in the borough ­- compared with the average increase that year across England of 6 per cent.

However, Bury Council says there was only a 1 per cent rise in the year following the change to three-weekly collections.

Concerns regarding an increase in rats were highlighted when leaders of Bury Unite commercial branch, which represents bin men who work across the borough, made a Freedom of Information request to Bury Council asking about vermin complaints before and after three-weekly collections were introduced.

In the 12 months up to the change there were 1,514 complaints, compared with 1,789 in the 12 months after.

One bin man admitted: "There are definitely more rats and flies now."

Oldham Council would provide any extra blue, brown and green recycling bins free of charge. Any household with smaller recycling bins would be able to swap to a larger one.

Households with extra waste they can't recycle could be entitled to an extra grey bin.

Information packs explaining the new service and a bin collections calendar specific to each area would be distributed to neighbourhoods before implementation.

For more information about recycling in Oldham visit www.oldham.gov.uk/waste or call 0161- 770 6644.


at a time when we see headlines in the papers saying they three week collections don't work and bins overflowing. and now ombc come up with this!
I wouldn't mind I think Rochdale was one of those councils under criticism for this.

under the two weekly service my black bin is almost full and I recycle everything I possibly can.

reducing the waste collection frequency will not reduce the amount of waste? it'll still be there to collect after all.

all this will result in is more fly tipping.

Another kick in the pants for those of us who work and pay taxes. How can the Council continuously increase the Council tax and withdraw paid for services at the same time unchallenged? Its nigh on a criminal act!
Those that actually pay council tax, bins emptied weekly. Those that do not pay council tax, bins emptied monthly. There has to be incentives to work for a living and contribute into the system! Too few are carrying too many in this once proud town.

also when are the council going to clarify how much they are now earning from their energy from waste deals?
as effectively everything you put in your green bin the council now makes money on?

when will we see a reduction in our council taxes?

This wouldn't even need to be considered if Oldham council had not spent all our money on interest payments & PPP arrangement for grandiose schemes which have either failed, or failed to generate the returns promised.

This is indeed a basic service, and to even consider cutting it shows what a dire mess Labour have made in their time in office.
There is no way a positive spin can be put on this, it's time for Labour to hold their hands up and apologise

The Tax Payers Alliance are among the keenest to have low taxes. Don't they get the connection between reducing taxes and diminishing public services? Don't blame OMBC for a three week collection service: it's the result of the squeeze on local authority finances that has been going on for some years now.

Get rid of the do nothing jobsworths in local government , that would save a fortune .As for the binmen , dont you think they do too little as it is ? You can always tell when they've been due to the bins scattered all over the road and the huge amount of refuge left where the binmen dropped it .

The fourth highest Council Tax charge in the country, £37 million spent on an overpriced cinema complex £26.3 million directly from the council's budget & resource accounts. Multiple Oldham Town centre commercial premises, public houses, offices and mills purchased in the last year. If the council cannot provide the services they are commissioned and paid to provide they should stop playing property developer roulette and dilusional green ambassadors in the wards that make up Oldham Town centre

Yes it saves money BUT national studies have proved it does not increase recycling AND areas with 3 week collections have seen significant increases in fly tipping, and general rubbish littering.
Plus, we have enough problems with missed collections around bank holidays, so you could be without a collection for SIX WEEKS - and that means overflowing bins, and dumped rubbish on streets and alleys around Oldham - some areas more than others as the residents have NO respect for their areas

Not a problem, the scum can carry on littering the streets in the rough areas during the week and at weekend dump it at Dovestones.

This is ridiculous. In West Sussex our bins are collected every week come rain or shine, or shine, or shine!

Isn't it strange how OMBC can fund new builds costing millions yet suddenly can't afford to empty refuse bins once a fortnight? Savings of £37 million need to be made we hear. How much does OMBC scrounge from the council tax payer per year? Where does it all go? What are the actual figures on recycling by neighbourhood as I have a strong suspicion they vary immensely yet we will all suffer because of this. Target the issue and not simply cover it up by reducing refuse collections Borough wide.

Home composting can assist in reducing waste and should also be encouraged by this council.Over a third of the contents of an average rubbish bin can be easily composted at home. Food sharing schemes such as OLIO & Fareshare Foodcloud can help this council to fight food waste. It should get all of Oldham’s residents, local shops, supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries, school & company canteens behind these apps like other councils are doing.

This council should encourage more residents to buy and properly use ‘dual use’ compostable liners under its innovative Dual Use Compostable Food Liner Project. This way more food waste can be recycled with less being contaminated, sending less to landfill. If the residents of Oldham recycled properly in the first place this council could save £5 million a year on landfill costs, which could be used to pay for other services.

... comparative neighbouring increases of 50 o/o in fly tipping & rats ... not a good example to follow surely ?
Oldham Council's latest Acounts online show its annual gross budget spending on Culture was £ 26 million last year compared with only £ 19 million on environmental services - 30 o/o more on culture than on the environment ... surely the wrong priorities ?

Where has the community been consulted on this. I realise the council has had its budget halved, but in the time I have been here they have reduced from weekly to now three weeks, this in turn should result in an equivalent reduction in my rates? Also if other areas where it has been introduced and fly tipping and increase in rodents have occurred, is there not a fundamental health issue not being addressed? The leader of the Council herself highlighted the issue in her recent blog to Oldham.

The Town Hall started out to accommodate the people that ran the essential services for the towns population, it now seems that the focus has changed to the population paying their hard earned money to maintain the Civic Centre and the rediculous salaries paid to the people that spend their days sitting at their desks thinking up new ways to reduce the services that normal tax payers think are essential.
Something should change but we all know it won't.

This plan stinks, and so will Oldham...Isnt the place grotty and unkempt enough yet?

Dickensian Policies from a care less council!

The Council Tax never gets lowered though does it!

We have had 3 weekly collections in place for some time now and I have to say it works ok. There were the usual grumblings at first from those who dislike any kind of change but it has settled down and we just get on with it. My only gripe is that we have four bins and limited space to store them, so I hope we don't get any more bins.

In principal I would agree with bin collections every 3 weeks but with the amount of fly tipping we already have in Oldham I have reservations. If everyone recycled properly it wouldn't be a problem but too many people can't be bothered. Also, there's confusion about what can and can't be recycled, especially plastic. I was told that if plastic contained liquid it's recyclable but some people put margarine tubs etc in brown bin. More clarification is needed on collection calendars and leaflets.

I have children and as most will know kids accumulate rubbish from thin air but this is one of the most stupid ideas to come out yet. Don't see why we should pay council tax to only have litter bins emptied every three week. There will. Be fly tipping everywhere . Hope we are going to get bigge r bins instead of the ones we have now because we will need them

What happens if your bin becomes full after 2 weeks ?

An aim to boost re-cycling, well theres a load of trot if I've ever heard, WE ALREADY RECYCLE, WE HAVE 4 BINS TO DO SO. This is just another money saving scheme that the rate payer has to suffer for, the council over spends every year, we get a new sports centre built, WHEN WE ALREADY HAD ONE, then the town hall debacle. Well you know what to do, Vote them out at the next locals.

i suppose we will have to take our waste to the tip ourselves when our bins are full or dump it on the civic centre steps.

What would happen if the residents decided that in response to this latest council decision, that they would no longer recycle? Just a thought!

this will increase fly tipping with the increase also with household rubbish removal which sweet young thing from the dept of piano's and organs thought this up were the cllrs all high fiving each other

Saheed : as food and garden waste would still be collected weekly, they're not a problem. However, how does one compost tins and plastic containers? Three weeks worth of these will be an issue. In my household of 3 people the brown bin is full after 2 weeks so it'll be overflowing after 3 weeks.

And stand by for your bins going missing, because some some people already over fill their bins, so bin men won`t take them, so they steal someone else`s bin to use. With three weekly collections, my opinion is, its going to be rife.

WELL DONE OLDHAM COUNCIL,i wondered how long it would take you lot to implement the 3 week collection.I have got my camera ready and i will look forward to hammering the REFUSE COLLECTION DEPARTMENT with photo's of overflowing grey bins and refuse therefore being thrown anywhere and everywhere.
And i will also send any photo's i deem to be really nasty to our beloved OLDHAM CHRONICLE.

this may well work with blue and brown bins but I bet most people will have the grey bin full in two weeks so what do we do with the extra rubbish? The collectors won't touch the bin if the lid is not closed now. Also, bank holidays - will collections be made or like it suggests in a comment above, will be have to wait 6 weeks to have a bin emptied?

As long as people keep coming out and voting for them no matter what mess they make of the town nothing will change. Labour Councillors backed up by the council officers with a vested interest in maintaining labour's iron grip on our town can do what they like secure in the knowledge that they will be reelected come what may.

No wonder we are one of the worst councils in the uk,
Absolute joke!
And they increased our council taxes again!!

What a load of rubbish.

Here we go again this is greater Manchester dictating to the people of Oldham we seem to have a weak labour leadership in Oldham now stand up and look after Oldham and not your labour cronies in Manchester.

It would not see recycling rates increase you clown, it will see fly-tipping increase.
Stop wasting money on vanity projects and provide the service you're paid to provide.

In my part of West Sussex we pay £35 a year to have our green
(garden) waste removed every fortnight. Household waste is collected every week and tins, plastic and paper alternate weeks with the green waste.

Oldham, the most deprived town in England, yet the 4th highest council tax and we can't even have empty bins once a fortnight! Over 40 years of Labour Council rule ..yet you all keep moaning yet voting for them! The opposition's local election leaflets in May even warned they would do this! Wake up Oldham!!

There are already financial penalties on Council Tax payers because we don't recycle enough.With more people recycling the council can save taxpayers money from landfill tax and spend that on other services.

@Greenacres- A consultation with a ‘small group’ of Oldham residents was carried out by the authority to see which of the two options they would prefer.The group showed a strong preference (around 80%) for the three-weekly option.

There is a big demand and a gap in the Oldham market for weekly bin collections now. This opportunity could be the birth of a great enterprise. Either outside service providers will expand into Oldham or an entrepreneur from within will create a new weekly waste collection service that will create wealth for its owners and jobs for our local economy.

@Peter - Oldham Council will provide you with any extra blue, brown and green recycling bins free of charge to ensure you can manage the change from 2 week to 3 week collection cycle.Request extra bins from the council website.

Absolutely disgusting. Got told today to empty my own bins if i cannot fit them in the grey bin, what an absolute disgrace, No chance of a reduction in the council tax though.
Debbie Abrahams, are you listening? or have you got your fingers in your ears like the rest of the Labour leaders who don't represent their voters.
As Bob Dylan would say, the times they are a changing. Get rid of this rubbish council next time you vote.


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