'Slim bins' could boost Manchester's recycling rates, says council

Large 240 litre bins in Manchester
Image caption The council hopes replacing the 240-litre black bin with a 140-litre 'slim bin' will encourage recycling

Smaller bins could be introduced in an attempt to boost recycling, Manchester City Council has announced.

The local authority hopes to save £2.4m per year as a result of bringing in "slim bins" which hold 40% less waste.

The plans will be considered at a committee meeting next month.

Manchester's recycling rate of 32.8% is the lowest of Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority's nine boroughs. Neighbouring Trafford recycles about double that proportion of its waste.

Under the proposals, the capacity of general waste bins in Manchester would change from 240 to 140 litres.

Three other councils in Greater Manchester have already made the switch - Trafford, Stockport and Tameside have all seen recycling rates improve since introducing the smaller bins.

Bolton will begin delivering them to residents on Monday.

'Helping the environment'

The new bins in Manchester would be tagged with a digital serial number so they can be traced if lost or stolen.

Fortnightly collections will be maintained and additional or larger recycling bins will be available at no cost on request.

To reduce costs, Rochdale, Salford and Bury have all moved to collecting bins once every three weeks instead of once every two.

Manchester City Councillor Nigel Murphy said the bins would help "to protect the vital council services that residents care about... while also helping the environment."

The council spent £36m on waste disposal in 2015-6 and said that if "every single item of recyclable waste was recycled in Manchester, around £16.5m a year could be saved".

The proposed change will be discussed next week at a meeting of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee and must then be approved by the executive on 29 June.

Recycling rates for the 9 authorities in the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

  • Trafford - 61.9
  • Stockport - 60.7
  • Bury - 46.6
  • Salford - 41.2
  • Tameside - 40.8
  • Bolton - 38.9
  • Oldham - 37
  • Rochdale - 33.4
  • Manchester - 32.8

Source: Manchester City Council

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