Wheelie bins are coming to the streets of Birmingham after the city secured a £29 million handout from the Government.
The wheelie bins will replace black bags for the vast majority of the 400,000 households in the city from next April following a successful bid to the Government’s £250 million weekly collection fund.
As well as guaranteeing the retention of weekly collections the council bosses believe that three wheelies for each house will help boost the city’s woeful 31 per cent recycling rates.
Residents will also benefit from a rewards scheme for recycling, based on a Nectar points system piloted in Erdington and Bournville last year and see 100,000 households with fortnightly recycling collections go weekly.
City bins chief councillor James McKay (Lab, Harborne) said: “I am thrilled that the Government has recognised the strength of our bid, and wants to work with us to bring transformational change to our waste collection services.
“Birmingham put forward an ambitious set of proposals that will preserve weekly waste collections, make our streets cleaner and help increase recycling rates. Now the Government has rallied behind our plans.
“We will shortly embark upon a period of public consultation over the details of the bid, to ensure we shape and introduce the best possible scheme for all citizens.”
The council is set to consult with residents over details of the scheme - including which streets or buildings may be exempt from wheelie bins - and preparing the ground for introduction starting in April next year.
But when the bid was first announced in the summer some residents voiced opposition - mainly saying their roads were not suitable.
Former Labour councillor Andy Foster said that his road in Selly Oak is unsuitable. “Here it won’t work. Unless it’s stuck on the front looking ugly, in a Conservation Area, and with everyone seeing what everyone else is dumping,” he said.
Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Paul Tilsley (Lib Dem, Sheldon) said: “It will have to be considered on a case by case basis.
"There are some parts of Birmingham that are plainly not suitable. Some houses are on steep hills and we have a rows of terraced houses where the only place to keep them is on the pavement.”
Previously the City Council has said that it expects between 90 and 95 per cent of properties to be suitable for wheelie bins - as is the experience in other cities.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said the grants would guarantee weekly collections for millions of householders.
He said: “Every Englishman has a basic right to have their household rubbish taken away each and every week - it is the most visible council service people get.
"Yet under the previous administration weekly bin collections halved while their Council Tax bills doubled.
“Over six million families will breathe a sigh of relief tonight because we have put a stop to the fetid fortnightly rot and saved many weekly collections from extinction, all while increasing recycling rates by hundreds of thousands of tonnes to boot.”
The £29 million grant to Birmingham is the highest grant to any local authority and will pay for the bins, which cost about £15 each, and a new fleet of trucks to replace ageing dust carts.
The three bins will be one for general waste, one for recycling such as bottles, cans and paper, and one for garden waste. Most other West Midlands councils already use wheelie bins.
All councils given grants must guarantee weekly residual waste collection for five years.
• Solihull has been awarded almost £3 million to enable it to combine a number of separate recycling bins in one collection.
• Wolverhampton has £2.7 million for a recycling reward scheme
• Dudley has £1.8 million to pay for a reward scheme and new collections for plastic bottles and cardboard
• Sandwell has £1.6 million for recycling of batteries and nappies and a scheme giving rewards to schools and community groups.
Deputy leader of Sandwell Council Steve Eling said: "I am very pleased that we have been offered this cash but we did put in a good bid. This shows that Sandwell is at the cutting edge of collection and recycling services."