Households in Wakefield may get more waste bins, but can the council cope with the extra rounds?

Households in Wakefield could be given more waste bins to deal with.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 9:56 am

Changes to the law, which are due to take effect from 2023, are likely to mean more consistency between local councils on waste collection and recycling.

Homes across the Wakefield district will be given at least one extra bin, specifically for food waste, and Wakefield Council could be forced to recycle materials that residents currently put into landfill.

But the council has expressed several concerns about the proposals, which they say would be "challenging" and a "burden" to implement within two years.

Nationwide changes to bin collections are set to be imposed from 2023.
Nationwide changes to bin collections are set to be imposed from 2023.

The local authority says it's unsure it will be able to get hold of the new equipment needed to adapt.

Speaking at a climate change scrutiny committee on Monday, the council's strategic waste manager Julie Greenwood said: "2023 is not that far away.

"We have got concerns and they have been fed back to Defra (the government department for the environment).

"It's not just in terms of educating the public and telling people what they put in which bin.

"It's about whether we can get the new vehicles, bins, boxes and caddies we need.

"If every authority is targeting all of those at the same time, we've got concerns that the industry won't be able to meet the demand."

Ms Greenwood told councillors that the costs of the changes will be "significant", though it is not yet clear who will be picking up the bill.

She also said that the council's contract with private waste company Renewi would have to be altered to reflect the changes.

Asked if she thought the plans would make waste disposal more efficient in the long-term, Ms Greenwood said: "One of the concerns I have is around the depots.

"I think we'd need another 20 or so smaller vehicles to collect food waste. They've got to be located somehow.

"Some of our depots are stretched at the moment. The new burden has to be covered somehow."

Committee chair, Councillor Olivia Rowley also expressed reservations.

She said: "We've a lot terraced properties in my ward and not much space out the front. That's my first concern - we've not a lot of space to put bins out as it is.

"I already get lots of issues raised with me about people not putting them back.

"We recently heard about a gentleman who crashed his car into the bins because there wasn't space to reverse out."

Local Democracy Reporting Service