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Birmingham manifesto 2014 - Refuse Collection

May 1, 2014 3:59 PM

Refuse collection:

We would immediately reinstate green waste collections for all households following the elections in May.

The cost of doing it for this year would be £2.53 million. Given the impact of the city of the disastrous charging policy this is now a priority. The money would come from contingency funds (not general reserves), in line with our budget proposals, largely from funds set aside in case of "non-achievement" of savings together with unallocated money.

We opposed the introduction of the wheelie bin system as wasteful and divisive. Refuse collection is ultimately a service to residents, not a system of compulsion and enforcement.

However wheelie bins and collection vehicles have now been purchased and we must make the system that is in place work for residents.

We would allow residents to opt out of wheelie bins and choose to put out black bags and recycling boxes. We will remove household wheelie bins from any neighbourhoods where they have made collection inefficient or have significantly impacted the street scene.

Removing the element of compulsion from wheelie bins will allow significant savings to be made on Labour's £10 million implementation budget over the next two years.

It will also allow enforcement officers to concentrate on serious abuse of public space by fly-tippers. We will redeploy Labour's team of 'wheelie bin police'.

In this year's budget we showed it was possible to restore free green waste collections back in for all residents. The impact of removing this service has been pernicious and handled with incompetence. We now have the sad scenario of litter bins being removed for fear residents put their grass cuttings in them.

We will not tolerate the situation of 2013/14 where the city's streets have been littered with green bags of leaves.

We will also pilot schemes to collect recyclable food waste as is done in many other areas and as was planned by the coalition administration prior to 2012.

We will seek investment to enhance street cleaning, in particular by updating the fleet of mechanical street sweepers and we will restore cuts to the service.

Flytipping crackdown

To combat areas where fly tipping, ASB and other identified problems/issues exist small surveillance cameras. These cameras are trigged by movement and work at night. They can be attached to trees and other fixed object at trouble spots and can be moved from area to area. They can cost less than £500 each.