Bury Council bin collections 'once in three weeks'

Bin being taken out
Image caption Bury Council said the changes will save £800,000 a year

A Greater Manchester council has reduced its household rubbish bin collections from fortnightly to once every three weeks.

Bury Council said it was the first authority in England to take the step and believes many will follow its lead.

The Labour-led authority said it would save £800,000 a year and boost recycling rates to 60% in the borough.

Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said there was "absolutely no case" for the cuts and backs weekly collections.

Bury Council said: "It will save a fortune especially in landfill tax fines. Since we moved to fortnightly grey bins in 2011, our recycling rate has shot up from 27% to 47%.

"We're spending £10m a year treating and disposing of waste that can't be recycled."

Bury's bins

  • Grey bin (household rubbish) collected every three weeks
  • Green bin (paper and cardboard) collected every three weeks
  • Brown bin (garden and food waste) collected every two weeks
  • Blue bin (glass, plastic bottles, food and drink cans) collected every three weeks

Source: Bury Council

Conservative MP Mr Hopkins said: "This government is working with councils to support weekly rubbish and recycling collections which protect the local environment and public health."

He said near-monthly collections would "encourage fly-tipping, backyard burning and harm local amenity".

"Our research has comprehensively shown councils can deliver savings through better procurement, more joint working and adopting new technology," he said.

The council said: "It has been claimed changes would cause flies or maggots but brown bins for food and garden waste will continue to be collected every two weeks.

"It is only grey bins for non-recyclable waste that will be collected every three weeks."

Bury Council has to make savings of £16m in addition to £40m of cuts already instigated.

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