£7.2m council investment into Cleaner Greener Streets is announced

Published: Tuesday, 15th June 2021

A fleet of Mobile Household Recycling Centres (MHRCs) is set to roll out on the streets of Birmingham as part of the council’s effort to achieve cleaner streets.

The four MHRCs will each feature three vehicles: a regular refuse collection vehicle for waste with no other use, a van for taking away items that can be reused by charities and a wagon with multiple compartments, enabling people to drop off waste for recycling by material type – just like at a conventional HRC.

Dates for the services will be announced in the near future, with the MHRCs initially being deployed in areas that rank highly in the fly-tipping league table, poorly on environmental cleanliness surveys, and low for take-up of the council’s paid-for bulky waste services.

During the pilot project, which represents £1.4million of a £7.2million investment in street scene services, each of the council’s 69 wards will receive at least one visit from a MHRC in the next year. An assessment will then be carried out to decide if the scheme should continue, be modified or other options pursued.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Cleaner, greener, streets are an understandable expectation of the people of Birmingham.

“We’re grateful for the work done by residents to keep their areas clean, and this is all about the council doing everything it can to play its part in delivering on one of the key priorities for people in this city.

“That’s why we have assembled a bold programme of activity, supported by investment, to tackle some long-term and deep-rooted issues affecting our neighbourhoods.”

Other projects and initiatives set to be rolled out in the year ahead includes new mobile CCTV camera technology to detect fly-tipping, the launch of a Crimewatch-style YouTube series to help the council trace waste crime culprits, the deployment of more crews to clear dumped rubbish and graffiti as well as a renewed offer of support to community groups doing their bit to make Birmingham’s streets cleaner and greener.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, added: “Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic we have seen weekly fly-tipping case numbers increase significantly. In a typical week just before the global health crisis, we were receiving 500-600 reports of dumped rubbish. Fast forward to the present day and we now regularly get more than 800 reports a week.

“But we know clean streets have been a key priority for people much longer than this. The Mobile HRCs will enable us to do something different and provide options for households in areas of greatest need – and we will also be able to reach parts of the city that are not close to our regular HRCs.

“We are open to trialling new innovations as we are determined to deliver on the wishes of residents and businesses, and this will be just one of many things we will be introducing in the coming months to make our shared environment a better place for everyone.”

Background notes

A complete breakdown of the planned investment for Cleaner Greener Streets in the year ahead is as follows:



Investment (annual cost)

Mobile HRCs pilot

As per story above



Deep Clean Crews

Three new Deep Clean Crews (six staff in each) to support the work of existing Street Scene staff, operating in hotspot areas of the city.

They will tackle everything on the specific streets – and their equipment will include a cage tipper as well as small and large mechanical sweepers.

Environmental data and local knowledge will direct the teams.


Additional WEEE crew

To tackle the fridges and electrical goods left abandoned across the city.

There is currently one team collecting such waste as this cannot be mixed with existing collected rubbish. The proposal is to formalise a second team.


Additional crews to tackle “red carded” properties

Residents with no wheelie bins (given a red-coloured information card when the bins were introduced) have to store their waste in their property until their next collection.

It has been found there is a direct link to reported bags on the streets and properties with no wheelie bins.

A review of the red carded properties has been undertaken to see if bins could be issued and locations have been looked for to install large containers to serve such homes.

Red carded properties are not an issue unique to Birmingham and is tackled in a number of ways – with some other councils having introduced more frequent bin collections.

It is proposed to collect from bags from the streets three times per week (including weekends).

This project would provide dedicated crews to focus on the main roads/areas of high footfall where this is a problem.


Community Environmental Wardens

Transferring the model of the parks “Friends” Groups, the council will recruit community champions to take on a role to promote cleansing activity, collections and carry out low-level monitoring.

The council will pay for insurance, training, equipment, direction and support. Linked into our existing Ranger Service, this will support up to 50 groups across the city.


TipMark scheme launch

A project in which legitimate waste firms will be to apply for endorsement and related branding from the council – to help better inform residents on who to use when they need to dispose of rubbish.


Keep Britain Tidy partnership

Utilise the organisation’s expertise and insight for campaigns and activity in Birmingham.

This will include the development of co-branded materials, the use of “grime scene” tape at fly-tipping incidents, proven to have a positive impact where used in other parts of the country and work with council officers to tackle a range of street scene issues.


Additional fly-tipping crews

Four new crews to focus on hotspot areas, supplementing the existing four dedicated teams already operating in the city.


Additional graffiti clean-up teams

Doubling of resource. Three new crews to bolster the service provided by three existing teams.


Wall of Shame/Grime Watch YouTube series

Development and production of videos to help identify culprits of environmental crime.


CCTV cameras

Purchase of 10 new units to join two purchased last year, to help detect environmental crime and aid with prosecution of offenders.


Engagement and Enforcement Officers

Dedicated officers carrying out litter patrols, parking enforcement and fly-tipping inspections and low-level enforcement.

Similar to models used in places such as Nottingham, Manchester and Swansea.

Top six Wards will be targeted and resourced with an Engagement and Enforcement Officer, who will tackle issues of waste on public and private land.

Wards to be focussed on:

  • Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East
  • Bordesley Green
  • Soho and Jewellery Quarter
  • Alum Rock
  • Small Heath
  • Aston


Love Your Streets initiative

Street-led days of action including enforcement staff, waste removal crews and community participation.


Additional Waste Enforcement Officers

Additional WEOs needed to carry out investigations and “Duty of Care” checks on businesses to ensure they comply with waste laws and regulations.





rating button