A last minute attempt to introduce wheelie bins in Birmingham failed last night at a meeting of all city councillors.
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition running Birmingham had opposed the possibility of replacing black plastic sacks with wheeled bins.
But a transportation and street services overview and scrutiny committee report which was received by the council last night had left the issue on the agenda.
However, a last minute amendment by the opposition Labour group to give residents the opportunity to opt into a wheelie bin scheme was defeated.
The result leaves Birmingham with little possibility of changing the current waste disposal system, which involves black plastic refuse sacks being collected on a weekly basis, and paper every two weeks.
But the cabinet member continues to have the power to designate areas where wheelie bins can be used.
Coun Timothy Huxtable (Con Bournville), vice chairman of the committee, said wheelie bins had been ruled out on a cost basis.
"We are not just talking about the actual costs of bins. It is also changing the transportation vehicles and waste management processes," he said.
"Introducing wheelie bins was never being promoted by the scrutiny committee. We just believed all options should be looked at."
When the council's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power in June 2004 it immediately signalled its intention to scrap a Labour plan to roll out wheelie bins across Birmingham.
Labour had suggested switching domestic waste collections to fort-nightly, allowing recyclable items to be collected on alternate weeks.
Len Gregory (Con Billesley), cabinet member for transportation, when giving evidence to the scrutiny committee, said the £2.2 million cost of wheelie bins would be prohibitive and there was no evidence that Birmingham either needed or wanted them.
The council is midway through a pilot study involving a kerbside collection of recyclable materials from 50,000 homes in the southwest of the city. Initial results show a 14 per cent increase in green waste.
The committee decided against recommending the council to follow the example of the London Borough of Brent, where residents who fail to recycle face fines of up to £1,000.