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Council bin services: residents thanked
Tuesday 2nd October, 2012

A month into the biggest revamp to council refuse collection services in Wigan Borough, residents are responding positively to the changes.

From the beginning of September, residents’ waste has been collected on a new pattern. The latest service now enables residents’ food waste to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, rather than it going to costly landfill sites. A rota system of bins has been heavily promoted in the press and on display boards which offers people the chance to easily recycle the vast majority of their waste.

Collection rates are up and complaints are down.

Previously, 99.5 per cent of the borough’s annual 15 million bin collections were successful – the new system has seen this rise to over 99.7 per cent. During the first two weeks of the service changes, 145 missed bins were recorded across over 130,000 properties of the borough. That’s around half the ‘usual’ under the previous system.

Cleansing managers have given a cautious welcome to the news, which follows the council’s recent award from national government for the high standard of its customer care.

Terry Dunn, the council’s director of environment, says:

“I’d ask anyone with concerns to report them directly to the council on online at any time on www.wigan.gov.uk or on 01942 404364. The new collection service has been well publicised and as a results we’ve seen a huge drop in calls from residents. I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank residents for their strong support for the recycling service. Their support is helping us all to save money and the local environment.”

Mr Dunn adds: “I would also like to reassure residents that we have robust planning arrangements in place and new state of the art in-cab technology in our vehicles to deal with the new system of collections. We’re serious about managing residents’ waste and I am grateful for the public’s support.”

Just 49 bins were reported to be contaminated. This occurs when items are placed in the wrong bin and means it cannot be collected. Full details of what can be placed in each bin is available online as well as in the calendars delivered to each home in the run up to the new services.

Cllr Kevin Anderson is the cabinet lead for the environment. He has been monitoring the new service. He says: “This new system saves council tax payers £14m over the next six years and helps us use that saving to protect the front line services people rely on. And of course, environmentally it is absolutely the right thing to do to recycle as much as we can rather than burying it.”

- The positive news from residents was marred slightly with reports of 7 burnt bins during early September. The dangerous effects of a bin fire was demonstrated by fire officers at their recent open day at Wigan Fire Station.


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