THOUSANDS of homes across Sunderland will see changes to their household rubbish and recycling collections in a move council bosses say will save £300,000 a year.
Collections will move from five to four days a week from Tuesday with collection day changes affecting 76,000 properties across the city.
Letters are being sent to householders this week.
The frequency of collections will not change, with weekly rubbish collections continuing alongside fortnightly recycling and garden waste pick-ups.
Coun James Blackburn, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for city services, said: “In the last three years, more than £100million has been taken out of city council budgets.
“A similar amount has to come out of budgets over the next three years. All service areas across the council have been looking at ways and means of introducing efficiencies and alternatives.
“The refuse and recycling collection service is moving to a four-day collection service. This will see collection crews work the same 37-hour week as they do now but over four days instead of the current five.
“There will no longer be collections on a Monday. This change to the working week allows the collection service to be more efficient by reorganising rounds and improving route planning.
“This is all about giving more value for city taxpayers and reducing disruption after Bank Holidays.”
The council has worked closely with staff and unions on the changes.
Alyson Bryan, branch secretary of the GMB’s Sunderland local authority branch, said: “Following thorough consultations with the employer and our members, the GMB and the other unions believe the introduction of the four day collection service is a win-win situation for both our members and the customers.
“Due to the scale of cuts imposed on local authorities by this government, we have had no option but to make large scale efficiencies across all departments.
“In the refuse and recycling service, we have collectively managed to look at a different way of working that not only protects our members’ jobs but will provide a better service to households, with less disruption following Bank Holidays.
“Credit and thanks must go to our members who have agreed to change their way of working, allowing the council to make these savings.”
The time of day that collections take place is also likely to change.
“We would remind all householders to present their bins from 7.30am,” said Coun Blackburn.