Sunderland’s £5million bid to save weekly bin collections

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WEEKLY bin collections across Wearside are set to be safeguarded by millions of pounds in Government cash.

City bosses are running the rule over a conditional offer of almost £5million from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Sunderland is one of 85 councils in line for a share of the £250million Weekly Collection Support Scheme, launched after fears collections every seven days could become a thing of the past across the UK within three years.

Sunderland is in line to receive £4,722,000 after submitting an application for funding to both maintain weekly collections and extend the existing scheme to reward residents for recycling.

Coun James Blackburn, portfolio holder for city services, said: “The city council currently collects general household waste on a weekly basis, and it collects recycling and garden waste fortnightly.

“We made a bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government in August to retain these arrangements.

“The bid included updating the council’s fleet of refuse collection vehicles and a campaign to encourage residents to recycle even more.

“We received a conditional offer of funding for our proposals and are reviewing the conditions before formally responding to the DCLG by the deadline of Friday.”

The new fund was set up in February to support councils which are using innovative techniques, such as new technology and recycling reward schemes, to improve their waste handling.

Research found two-thirds of people think frequent and regular rubbish collections are the most important feature of the waste service, while two-thirds thought the Government should make weekly collections compulsory.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Every Englishman has a basic right to have their household rubbish taken away each and every week – it is the most visible council service people get.

“Yet under the previous administration weekly bin collections halved while their council tax bills doubled.

“Over six million families will breathe a sigh of relief tonight because we have put a stop to the fetid fortnightly rot and saved many weekly collections from extinction, all while increasing recycling rates by hundreds of thousands of tonnes to boot.”

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