Brighton and Hove's communal bins 'to boost recycling'

Communal bins in Brighton & Hove
Image caption The communal recycling bins will be rolled out across the city in stages

A scheme to recycle waste in Brighton and Hove using communal bins rather than individual boxes could boost recycling by 70%, the council has said.

It will affect 32,000 households in the city, saving more than £500,000 in the next six years in collection costs.

It was approved by the environment, transport and sustainability committee and is due to go ahead later this year.

Councillor Pete West said the scheme had already been tried out on 3,000 households in the city.

"They've increased their recycling rate by 70%. People are really, really happy with it," he added.

The bins were placed in 26 streets in the Brunswick and Adelaide ward.

'Cleaner streets'

Rather than a weekly or fortnightly kerbside recycling box collection, residents took their items to the shared communal bin whenever it was convenient.

Mr West said the pilot had shown it "to be a very good way to get increased recycling, cleaner streets and less damage to the environment".

Before the trial, Brighton and Hove City Council said it collected about 4.7 tonnes of recycling per week from the area.

In the first month of the trial that had increased by 31% to 6.15 tonnes per week.

By July it had risen to 70% and a follow up survey to residents showed that 73% of them said they preferred the new scheme to black box collections, the council said.

Parking spaces

The new service will now be rolled out in stages between October and next March, and it is expected the communal bins will be emptied at least three times a week.

However, it will mean the loss of 272 parking spaces across the city, out of a total of 20,124 - equivalent to 1.35%.

The local authority admitted there would be a loss of £84,000 a year in parking revenue but said it expected the number of spaces lost to be reduced as proposed bin locations were reviewed.

The net saving to the council from the scheme is expected to be about £476,000 over six years.

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