Independent review into council waste collections is published

Published: Monday, 3rd February 2020

The findings of the first phase of an independent review into waste collection services are set to be endorsed by Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet on February 11.

Conducted by Wood, a leading environmental consultancy, the review looked at all aspects of the service and was commissioned as part of the agreement which ended the industrial dispute that affected bin collections in early 2019.

A series of recommendations, both short-term and long-term, are made in the review. As well as endorsing its findings and work to address them, Cabinet will also be asked to back the second stage of the process – a review of the system and frequency of bin collections, given it seems likely the new Government will require all councils to offer a weekly food waste collection service.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, said: “We are grateful for the work that has been independently carried out over the past few months. It has offered a fresh perspective on things and confirms many of our beliefs about how the waste service can be improved and supports the improvements we have already started to put in place, such as the replacement of our ageing vehicle fleet.

“We are already making progress and despite some challenges over Christmas and New Year, the trend on a number of key performance measures, such as missed bin collections, is heading in the right direction. This report gives us the reassurance we are on the right track and has also given us further points to consider to ensure we deliver on the top priority for the people of this city – clean streets.

“In terms of taking things forward on our improvement journey to achieve that aim, we do need to look at a range of possible options for the waste collection system itself.

“The likely introduction of a weekly food waste collection by the Government means now is the right time to do this. Absolutely no decisions have been taken on the future of waste collection, but we do want to look at how we can help tackle the climate emergency by improving our recycling rate. All the options that will be explored include retaining a weekly waste collection.”

The review and related documents can be found on the city council website.

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