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Call for weekly kitchen waste collections in Wirral
A CALL has been made for the introduction of weekly waste food collections in Wirral.
Lib-Dem Cllr Stuart Kelly said: “I think the time is long overdue for us to start looking more closely at ways to collect weekly kitchen waste separately from grey (recycling) and green (residual waste) bins.
“Weekly food waste collections would end the summer nuisance of smells, maggots, flies and other pests that we have to endure waiting for the fortnightly collection of perishable waste.”
Cllr Kelly claimed that Wirral has been left behind on the issue by “more progressive” councils.
Wirral’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Brian Kenny denied this is the case.
Cllr Kelly said: “Surrounding councils like Sefton and Chester are pressing ahead with developing weekly collection services for food waste, whilst Wirral plods along with an ageing and dated collection service.
“Earlier this year, the Government made funding available to support councils to develop weekly collections - including for food waste.
“I think we should have looked to bid for that funding to support the weekly collection of separate kitchen waste. Other councils took up this opportunity for external funding – why not Wirral?”
He added: "Whilst the alternate weekly rubbish collections we have now are popular and have worked brilliantly to boost the overall amount of recycling we do, I also know that the problems associated with two week old food waste are a constant concern and inconvenience for Wirral residents - especially during the summer months.”
Cllr Brian Kenny, Wirral Council Cabinet member for environment, said: “Far from delivering an ‘aging and dated’ household waste collection service, in Wirral we are proud of the success we have had with our system of alternate weekly collections of recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
“This has been proven to yield far more recycling than the traditional kerbside sort system where residents have to sort materials into a number of different containers.
“As with any successful service we are constantly looking at ways of making improvements and the possibility of collecting food waste weekly is something that has been and remains under consideration.
“Indeed, when the Government announced this funding earlier in the year to encourage Councils to deliver weekly bin collections, we asked officers to look at how a bid could benefit our waste management strategy.
“Weekly food waste collections would cost the Council between £4m and £5m a year after the funding had run out and we simply wouldn’t commit to that without being certain that it was money well spent.
“The Merseyside Waste and Recycling Authority (MWRA), which Wirral works in partnership with, is currently evaluating bids from organisations that can provide a state-of-the-art Energy from Waste facility which, when in operation, will mean no household waste will have to go to landfill; non-recyclable waste will be put to use providing energy to the National Grid.
“Once a successful bidder is identified, we will know the potential cost savings and environmental benefits of this system and that will put us in a better position to make an informed assessment about the future of our waste collection services.”