Councillors agree changes to recycling collections

Bexley’s Conservative Councillors have agreed changes to take place later this year for recycling collections.

Already the number one Council in London for recycling – with over 50% of all waste sent to be recycled – the changes should see a further increase in recycling levels without dramatically changing a successful system.

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Under the plans recycling will be collected on alternate weeks in new, larger wheelie bins, with permanently attached lids, replacing the old, outdated boxes that are now too small to deal with the huge amount of materials that can be recycled.

It will also solve the common complaint from residents that the lids often get blown away on windy days, with the emptied boxes following suit.

Under the changes, paper will be collected one week in a new, larger wheelie bin, with plastics, tins and glass being collected on the other week. It means all those materials can go into one large bin.

There are no other changes so food waste will continue to be collected every week and residual waste will be collected fortnightly, as has been the case for the last decade.

These are also the changes that residents overwhelmingly backed in the consultation exercise over the last three months.

It follows the publication of recommendations by a cross-party Council Committee, where Conservative and Labour Councillors all agreed what was the best option to take.

The changes will also save taxpayers £450,000 a year in the running costs of the service.

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Speaking after the Cabinet meeting where the decision was announced, Cllr Peter Craske, Cabinet Member for Places, said;

“Bexley has been Number One in London for recycling for 14 years in a row. The system we introduced 11 years ago has led to recycling rates rocket to over 50% and stay there; instead of sending 42,898 tonnes of household waste to be buried in landfill sites, as we did before 2007 now we only send 108 tonnes.

This has meant taxpayers have avoided having to pay £11m in landfill charges.

Clearly we don’t want to make too many changes to what is a successful system but we are addressing concerns residents have had about the current recycling boxes being too small and often blowing away in the wind.  

Making this change to recycling collections with larger wheelie bins with lids attached will deal with that.”

The decision to amend the recycling collections was agreed by all Conservative Councillors but is also fully supported by Bexley’s Labour Councillors, through the cross-party Committee where recommendations were presented unanimously.

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