Headlines: June 7th, 2006

Bristol has become the first major city in the UK to launch a comprehensive weekly collection service to recycle food, cardboard and garden waste. The city council says this not only puts it at the forefront of moves to protect the environment but will save council tax payers from significant future rises in household bills.In the first stage of changes, which come into effect this week, around 30,000 Bristol residents will start using the new services with all the remaining 120,000 homes in the city that have doorstep rubbish collections benefiting by early August. The new system means that households will no longer throw away the majority of their waste. Instead food waste, including peelings, bones, tea bags and eggshells will go into a new kitchen waste bin ready for weekly collection.

Each home will receive a smaller kitchen container that can be used to store the waste before it is transferred to the new waste bins. Residents will also be able to leave cardboard packaging next to the new bin to be collected for recycling each week. Residents with gardens are being encouraged to compost their garden waste or they can opt to take up the city’s offer of weekly collection, buying their own green wheelie bin for 21 pounds and subscribing to the collection service for around 55 pence a week.

Like many other places Bristol already has an established black box recycling scheme, for glass, cans, paper, rags and other items and this will continue. In many council areas this is done fortnightly but Bristol collects the boxes every week.

Gary Hopkins, the City Council Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said that the new system would help to protect the local, national and global environment and save money for council tax payers. “We estimate that doing nothing would eventually cost the average taxpayer about 150 pounds a year in fines and landfill taxes. The response to these changes has generally been extremely positive and I’d like to thank the people of Bristol for playing their part and showing how much they care about the world we live in,” he said.