Households in Bury have become the first in England to have their rubbish bins collected once every three weeks.
The policy, which is designed to boost recycling rates, starts in October, and the council has revealed hundreds of families have ordered extra grey wheelie bins to cope.
Bosses also hope the switch from fortnightly collections will save money on expensive landfill and treatment costs.
The change applies to grey bins only – bins for residual waste. Green bins for paper and cardboard and blue bins for plastic and glass will be collected more often, once every three weeks instead of monthly, with the fortnightly collection of brown bins for garden and food waste remaining the same.
The Manchester Evening News reported that the council had received more than 6,000 requests for extra green, blue and brown recycling bins, which are being provided for free. There have also been more than 700 requests for a free upgrade to the larger size of grey bin. Around 200 families with larger families have requested an extra grey bin.
Tony Isherwood, cabinet member for the environment, said: “I know that these changes have caused some concern, but they are necessary if we are to recycle more and save money that can help protect other public services.
“Studies show it’s possible to recycle around 75 % of all household waste and we know other areas in Greater Manchester already recycle over 60% so we can do more here in Bury.”
Falkirk council in Scotland launched a three-weekly service in May and Gwynedd council in north-west Wales is expected to follow this year, but Bury is the first in England to launch a change.
The council has launched an e-mail alert service to help households during the change. Residents who sign up will receive a reminder ahead of collection days. New collection calendars are also being posted out.
Michael Bennett, managing director of specialist resource and waste management consultancy Pelican Communications commented: “Whilst this move will no doubt annoy the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, it is another example of the recycling benefits that can be achieved by moving away from weekly collections.
“It also highlights the need for effective and focussed local communications campaigns to ensure residents fully understand when changes are being made to their collections.”
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