Plans for fortnightly bin collection in Sunderland await cabinet approval

Bins are left out ready for collection in the back lane of Carley Road, Sunderland.
Bins are left out ready for collection in the back lane of Carley Road, Sunderland.

A change which could see bin collections move from a weekly to a fortnightly basis to save £750,000 will move a step forward this week.

Sunderland City Council plans to make alternate pick ups, with the green general waste wheelie bins to be collected one week and blue recycling bins the next.

Councillor Michael Mordey.

Councillor Michael Mordey.

The proposal, which will go before cabinet tomorrow, comes as funding given to councils to carry on weekly collections in the face of cuts will run out at the end of this financial year.

The council is looking at saving a further £74million from its budget in the run-up to 2020 due to a reduction in Government funding.

The authority expects the new bin regime to begin on Tuesday, April 4, with leaflets to be sent out to 120,000 homes to let them know which bin to put out when ahead of the start date.

The flyer will also offer tips on how households recycle more efficiently.

We know from our bin collection teams, our front line operatives, that there is capacity in bins, where some are half full when they are collected.

Councillor Michael Mordey

No collection days will change and those who live in flats or areas with communal collections or non-infectious medical waste will continue to get weekly collections.

Large households can also request two wheelie bins or a larger container.

The council says it is one of the last across the region to change to an alternate week schedule, with the proposal coming to fruition after it was first suggested five years ago.

Meanwhile, the authority has said it has pooled £500,000 through looking at its finances to invest into enforcement over flytipping and litter

Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for city services, said: “We are aware that people are concerned about flytipping, the potential increase in littering and vermin, but if they bag up their waste, if the lid is down and if they wash their bin regularly there shouldn’t be a problem.

“We know from our bin collection teams, our front line operatives, that there is capacity in bins, where some are half full when they are collected.

“I’m not naive enough to think the money we will put towards enforcement will eradicate these problems, because there will still be idiots out there that think they have a right to flytip and dump rubbish, but we know where the hot spots are and resources are being put into this issue.

“Generally, people I’ve spoken to, when I’ve been out talking to residents on doorsteps, they understand why this is happening and the majority of people I’ve spoken to in my ward of Hendon say they are fine with the alternate collections.

“In planning these changes, there should also be an upturn in recycling rates that helps reduce waste disposal costs.”

The council’s cabinet will meet at 2pm tomorrow at Sunderland Civic Centre.