Environment

Big changes to your wheelie bin collections as food recycling scheme is launched

By Mark Thomas at

Wirral residents are being given until September 9 to have their say on a major change in the borough’s domestic waste collection.

Residents are being asked if they want their current 240 litre green wheelie bins to be collected every three weeks – or to have them replaced with smaller 140 litre green bins which will continue to be picked up once a fortnight.

The changes are being made to accommodate a new food recycling scheme, which will see every household issued with a kitchen caddy and liner bags for food waste and a small outside container for the bagged waste which will be collected every week alongside existing collections.

A roadshow to explain the changes came to West Kirby library on Monday as part of a tour of the borough.

Wirral currently recycles 36% of its waste and has to hit 50% by 2020 or face government fines and a huge hike in the current £15.4m a year levy the council has to pay for waste disposal and treatment.

The full new set of bins, including kitchen food caddy and container and smaller 140 litre green bin

The full new set of bins, including kitchen food caddy and container and smaller 140 litre green bin

Councillor Bernie Mooney, Wirral’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “We are asking residents to make a straight choice on a change to how we collect residual waste – that’s the stuff we send to landfill. However, there is also an opportunity with this consultation for people to give us feedback on the decision to introduce a food recycling service.

“What we have to make clear, though, is that there is no ‘do nothing’ option. By 2020 we need to be recycling 50% of all household waste in Wirral, which means we need to reduce residual waste by 16,000 tonnes.

“The evidence we’ve seen in Wirral is that 40% of the rubbish that goes into the residual waste bin is food, so investing in a food recycling collection service is a logical step.

“Many other councils collect food for recycling. Those councils have seen recycling rates improve dramatically and they send a good deal less waste to landfill.

The kitchen food recycling caddy every home will receive

The kitchen food recycling caddy every home will receive

“Recycling leftover food is the right thing to do for the environment. Rotting food in landfill generates methane, which is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide and contributes to climate change.

“The food that will be collected will be taken to a special processing plant in Widnes, which will result in it generating renewable energy and a nutrient-rich fertiliser that can be used to grow more food.”

Details of the proposals – and a short questionnaire for residents to complete – are now online at the Council website – www.wirral.gov.uk/food. The consultation will run until September 9.

The waste food container and kitchen caddy every Wirral home will receive

The waste food container and kitchen caddy every Wirral home will receive