Council to pilot wheeled bins

Merton Council today announced it is proposing to pilot wheeled bins in part of the Lavender Fields area of Mitcham from April 2015.

Subject to cabinet approval on 19 January, the pilot would last six months and include 1,200 households.

Lavender Fields was identified by the council as a good area to conduct a pilot because of the broad variety of property types there. The council will decide which roads to include in the pilot, and then inform the residents directly about when they will receive their two new bins.

The aim of the pilot is to assess whether wheeled bins can help in improving the cleanliness of the borough’s streets and ensuring value for money for council taxpayers.

Funding for the pilot will come largely from the Department for Communities and Local Government (£67,000) which will allow for two additional vehicles and crews.  The outlay for the council would be £48,000 to go on the bins, which would come from a small underspend.

The council’s scrutiny committee will play a key part in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of wheeled bins. After the six month trial, the scrutiny committee will carry out an in-depth assessment into whether wheeled bin collections are value for money for residents and whether they result in the improvements to street cleanliness and recycling rates.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental cleanliness and parking Councillor Judy Saunders said: “We want to carry out a modest pilot to see if wheeled bins would offer residents cleaner streets and good value for money. We know that black sacks are often ripped open by foxes and our recycling boxes have no lids so the rubbish blows onto the street.  We want to see if wheeled bins can help.  Having wheeled bins would also mean recycling is kept dry which makes it easier to recycle with even less waste going to landfill.

“We understand that a small percentage of households would not be suitable for a wheeled bin and in these cases the current recycling boxes will continue to be an option along with black sacks for general waste. Our scrutiny committee will examine the pilot’s results in detail so that we fully understand any potential advantages or disadvantages for residents.

“I’m keen to explore all options to make our streets cleaner and to ensure value for money for residents so I’m looking forward to seeing how the pilot goes.  It will be a good test of whether or not wheeled bins can help.”

Cabinet papers