Stoke-on-Trent residents could see return of weekly bin collections
WEEKLY bin collections could be reinstated in the Potteries – three years after being scrapped to save £1.1 million and boost recycling.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has asked the Government to pay for weekly collections of general rubbish in the city to be brought back.
It has bid for a share of a £250 million Government cashpot to help councils restore weekly collections.
But in an embarrassing development for the Tory-led Government, the Labour-run city council is understood to be the only authority in the country looking to ditch the fortnightly collection of food and general waste for a restored weekly round.
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The council currently empties general waste grey bins every fortnight and collects blue and brown bins, used for recycling and organic waste, in the alternate week.
Under new plans, the authority would use Government cash to pay for general waste to once again be collected every week.
Jim Gibson, chairman of Chell Heath Residents' Association, said: "We see people jumping on top of their bins to try to squash in a little bit more as the bin men won't empty the bins if the lid won't shut. The bins get choc-a-bloc and it causes maggots and bad smells."
General weekly collections were scrapped in 2009 to save cash and meet Government recycling targets.
More recent cuts have included scrapping recycling collections in areas with poor uptakes which are close to recycling centres, and failed attempts to cut bin men's pay.
Critics of the Government scheme, including some Labour MPs, say restoring weekly collections will deter recycling.
It is believed the council will use the results of an ongoing waste survey to help decide how and where to make changes if the bid is approved.
Alan Joinson, chairman of East Bentilee Residents' Association, said: "Some families are always asking how they can get a bigger bin. It would be easy for the council to map out who wants a weekly collection and who doesn't, and that would save them money."
The results of the Government funding bids will be announced in the autumn.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their council tax bill."