DCLG receives 180 bids for £250m weekly fund

3 April 2012

Around 180 expressions of interest have been submitted by local authorities to the government for its £250 million weekly waste collection fund.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said yesterday (April 2) that this represents a ‘groundswell’ of councils looking to take up weekly waste collections, with more than two-thirds of the applications from authorities looking to retain or reinstate weekly collections.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles had launched the fund to encourage councils to reinstate weekly residual waste collections
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles had launched the fund to encourage councils to reinstate weekly residual waste collections

However, a survey carried out by The Sunday Telegraph suggests many of the applicants favour initiatives such as weekly food waste collections over reinstating weekly collections of residual waste at which the fund was originally targeted.

Only one of 184 councils polled by the newspaper on Sunday (April 1) said they would apply for funding to reinstate a weekly collection of residual waste, while only 17 authorities said they would look to secure funding to retain existing weekly residual waste collections. However, 34 authorities had stated that they would apply for funding to introduce or improve existing weekly food waste collections.

The £250m Weekly Waste Collection Support Scheme was first announced by the DCLG in September 2011 (see letsrecycle.com story), and is open to local authorities looking to reinstate or improve weekly collections of residual waste, but councils looking to introduce food or organic waste collections will also be eligible.

Bids

According to the DCLG some bids received are proposing to use funding to invest in new infrastructure or technology to improve recycling rates or to tailor collections services to the needs of specific residential areas.

Local authorities had until March 16 to submit an initial expression of interest in funding, while the deadline for submitting outline bids is May 11.

According to the governement, bids that ‘improve local waste and recycling services, develop infrastructure, and reward recycling’ will be favoured.

Mr Pickles said: “Rubbish collections are the most visible service that people get for their £120 a month council tax bill. The public are fed up of all the bin do’s and bin don’ts – now our fund will mean councils can sort out their service and offer a high quality weekly collection or invest in ways to improve recycling through incentives and new technology.

“I’m pleased to see so many councils come forward to stop the rot. This shows councils recognise more can be done to increase the sustainability, frequency and the quality of rubbish collections people get in return for their council tax.”

The government has said that it will now be working with councils to make sure that quality bids are now submitted by the May deadline. A ‘scoring’ system will be used to assess bids, and will favour those that support ‘comprehensive weekly rubbish and recycling collections’.

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