Communal bins proposed in council budget

Proposal to replace wheelie bins with communal bins

Newcastle City Council has issued documents related to its 2017-18 Budget which is to be voted on at a full meeting of the council on 1 March 2017.

You can read more information on the Newcastle City Council Budget 2017-18 page.

The main proposals are contained in a 44 page document called Newcastle 2020: Investing for a fairer future – Newcastle City Council budget proposals 2017-20.

Decent neighbourhoods aim

One of the stated aims (p12) is for decent neighbourhoods:

“Decent neighbourhoods: We will invest in housing suitable for all the city’s
residents including the most vulnerable; and maintain a clean, green and attractive city in which everyone shares responsibility for keeping their neighbourhood looking good.”

Part of this section goes on to say that:

“We will develop a new waste strategy, working with residents and businesses
to reduce waste generation, increase recycling and reduce the amount of
waste we send to landfill, and dedicating £1 million to test and implement the
new strategy.”

Communal bins “where appropriate”

Further information on local services (p33) goes on to say:

“Newcastle produces significant quantities of waste more per resident than some other UK cities. To address this we will develop a new waste strategy involving a fundamental review of how we reduce, process, use and dispose of the city’s waste. By working with communities to support people to produce less waste and recycle more waste, we will be able to make savings in costs of collection and disposal by 2020. We will also review our waste disposal sites and processes to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, and look to commercialise waste streams wherever possible, contributing to our objective of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050.

 Collecting and disposing of waste from homes, businesses and public bins across the city takes up the majority of resources in environmental services. There is limited scope for further efficiencies through IT or changes to working practices. Our waste strategy will enable us to further improve efficiency and achieve better environmental outcomes by addressing both the quantity and type of waste produced in the city.

Achieving the transformative change in waste production and disposal envisaged by the waste review will not happen overnight. In the interim while the waste review is ongoing, we will build on previous successful approaches to improve efficiency in waste collection. Communal bins will be rolled out in further areas of the city where appropriate. This will make it easier to recycle, improve the appearance of back lanes and allow them to be serviced more effectively.

We will also dedicate £1 million to test approaches identified by the waste strategy and to support the resulting transition.”

Newcastle City Council view

The Integrated Impact Assessment document (Feb 2017) says that (p10) “back lanes present a number of challenges for the refuse collection service”.

And that communal bins have already been implemented into “All of the relevant back lanes in Ouseburn” and “a number of back lanes in Benwell and Scotswood, South Jesmond and Wingrove” wards.

Newcastle City Council’s document states that “To date, feedback has been positive from local communities where communal bins have been inplace for some time”.

Residents fear rubbish will be even worse

A recent article in the Newcastle Chronicle however made reference to concerns from local residents where communal bins were already in the process of being imposed “a number of residents on four of the affected streets told the Chronicle on Wednesday how they feared the new bin policy would make the issue of rubbish “even worse” in the area” – read the full article “Wheelie bins across Newcastle to be axed in a bid to save cash” on .

High West Jesmond residents view

A number of residents have already contacted us to voice their concerns at the council’s budget proposals for communal bins citing specific examples of ongoing problems in a number of back lanes in the pilot areas where Newcastle City Council has been testing communal bins (locations referred to above).

High West Jesmond Residents’ Association believes there should be a full consultation by the council with residents and communal bins should not be imposed where their is litte support for them.