Councils’ weekly waste collection fund launched

3 Feb 12
The £250m fund to help councils maintain or return to weekly waste collections is now open for business, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.
 By Vivienne Russell | 3 February 2012

The £250m fund to help councils maintain or return to weekly waste collections is now open for business, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.
Bin men working

Details of the Weekly Collection Support Scheme were first set out last September, promising extra cash for councils that keep up weekly waste collections for five years and boost recycling rates.

It followed publication of the government’s Waste Policy Review, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in June. This stopped short of ordering councils to reinstate weekly collections and was seen as a blow to Pickles, who has championed weekly collections.

Speaking today, Pickles said: ‘Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120-a-month council tax bill. But barmy bin rules have made putting out your rubbish more complicated than solving a Rubik’s Cube. The public are fed up of all the bin do’s and bin don’ts.

‘People just want a comprehensive service in return for their council tax, which is why this government is working with councils to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish and recycling collections.’

The fund has been financed from savings in the Department for Communities and Local Government’s central budget. Ministers want it to support schemes that reward families for recycling as well as promote innovation, better procurement and joint working between authorities.

Clyde Loakes, vice chair of the Local Government Association’s environment board, said the extra funds would help councils that could not otherwise afford to maintain weekly collections. Councils could also apply to use the cash for weekly organic waste collections.

‘The decision ultimately comes down to local choice, and we are pleased councils’ calls for the flexibility to spend this money on weekly collections of food and organic waste have been listened to,’ he said.

But Loakes said it was ‘disappointing’ that the government had excluded councils currently switching to alternate weekly collections.

‘This sets a double standard which arbitrarily penalises local authorities reviewing their waste collection arrangements this year, while offering money to those who have already made the switch,’ he said.

The prospectus and bidding form for the Weekly Collection Support Scheme can be viewed here.

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