Birmingham is a step closer to experimenting with wheelie bins, after the city council agreed to a pilot recycling scheme.
The Conservative-Liberal Democract coalition was in danger of its first defeat in three years over proposals to introduce wheeled bins for garden waste and recyclable rubbish.
With the 41 Labour councillors certain to back the scrutiny recommendations, only 20 Liberal Democrats votes in favour of the wheelie bin proposals would have secured the council's approval.
Although the issue divided both political groups, a substantive amendment tabled by Coun Len Gregory (Con, Billesley) to identify "if there is any appetite for a pilot wheelie bin scheme for recycling" was passed following a majority vote.
The debate surrounding the issue led to much barracking in the council chamber, as councillors considered a scrutiny committee recommendation to press ahead with trials in constituencies where the idea is supported.
Coun Steve Bedser (Lab, Lonbridge) claimed the changes mooted by Coun Gregory "filleted out the recommendations" of the scrutiny panel "in an attempt to split members into voting with the Executive".
"This is the last of the evidence we will hear of the work done by that scrutiny committee," he added.
Martin Mullaney, who chaired the scrutiny inquiry, wants to give constituency committees until August next year to come forward with proposals for wheelie bin pilots covering rounds consisting of 7,500 households.
The cost of buying enough bins for 30,000 properties would be about £1.5 million.
But after two years the cost per household would be cheaper than continuing with plastic refuse sacks because fewer employees are needed to empty the bins, according to the committee.
Coun Mullaney (Lib Dem Moseley & Kings Heath) said: "We are here promising a pilot scheme and I will go back to the scrutiny committee before reporting back to the council."