Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Monthly Recycling Collections for Bolton?

It seems that the latest series of Government cuts are going to be hitting homes in Bolton shortly. In a new cost-saving measure the local Council is proposing to cut the recycling waste collection frequency for households in Bolton from fortnightly to once per month.

Whilst I'm sure we can all appreciate the need to reduce costs in this current economic climate I don't think this measure is going to do anything to help Bolton to improve their overall levels of recycling. Surely in mid-summer people are going to elect to put some of their waste into the general waste bins rather than recycle it to reduce the chance of overflow and odors developing.

Another concern is that currently the materials collected for recycling provide an income to Bolton Council rather than a cost, which would be incurred through landfill tax if the materials start to slip into general waste. With this in mind I hope that Bolton Council decide to retain their current fortnightly collection structure, otherwise they will struggle to improve upon their current 29% recycling rate.

We'd love to hear the thoughts of Bolton residents on this proposal.

Source: Telegraph.

EMERGE Recycling


  1. (Not a Bolton resident - just thought I'd comment anyway ;) )

    While I wholeheartedly oppose the cuts and agree that it's unlikely to help Bolton improve its recycling rate, I don't think it'll necessarily make it worse.

    When DEFRA released the 2009-2010 council recycling rates last month, I conducted a mini-study to look into the behaviour of the top five recycling areas - and the bottom five - to see if we could learn anything from them. While admittedly all of the top five had recycling collections at least once a fortnight, so did the bottom five - and two of the bottom ones had collections once a week. Leeds and Bradford, my two local councils, both have monthly recycling collections but had a (admittedly only slightly) higher recycling rate than Bolton in 2009-2010. I suspect the cuts in Bolton may very well reduce the overall recycling rate but it won't necessarily be related to the frequency of collections.

    Also, all the council recycling info sheets I've read advise people to clean their recyclables before putting them in the bin - I'm not saying that everyone always does it but if they did, it would greatly reduce the mid-summer issue. Also, mid-summer up north - surely our greatest worry would be our bins washing away in all the rain? ;)

  2. Hi Louisa, thanks very much for your input!

    From our perspective any changes which could damage the recycling rates are worth highlighting. Though clearly there is also a need for community education to help improve recycling rates also.

    Whilst best practice for waste is to wash it, from our experience it's not always the case that it does gets cleaned!

    We do take on board your point about the weather, though 2010 was one of the hottest years ever recorded, so there must have been a few sunny days! :)