South Glos Council consults on plan to almost halve size of black bin

Diagram showing the average volume of black bin waste in a 240 litre bin and the same waste in a 140 litre bin. (South Gloucestershire Council, 2015).

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has announced proposals to almost halve the size of residents’ black bins in a bid to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, meet recycling targets and save money.

The authority wants to replace existing 240-litre capacity wheelie bins with a slimline 140-litre version, which it would continue to empty on a fortnightly basis.

Kerbside collections of dry recyclables would be increased from fortnightly to weekly in advance of the introduction of the smaller black bins.

The use of bags for collecting recyclables would cease, with residents instead being offered containers in which they can place any type of dry recyclable material. Collection crews would then be responsible for separating the material during collection at the kerbside.

The cost of implementing the changes, including providing the new bins and containers, is put at around £1 million. Once fully operational, the new collection regime is expected to contribute £1 million per annum towards the waste service’s savings target of £2.73 million, set by the council in 2014 and required to be achieved by 2020.

The plans are detailed in the council’s draft Waste Strategy for 2015-2020 document, which is the subject of a public consultation running until 15th February 2016.

According to the document, analysis shows that, in 2014, 52 percent of the contents of black bins could have been recycled using the existing kerbside service, with the largest contributor being food waste, at 23 percent.

“Our annual waste analysis clearly shows that the capacity in our black bins far exceeds the need for residual waste, it is also a possible dis-incentive for recycling. An [independent] report published in 2015 identified residual capacity as a key influence on recycling behaviour. By limiting our black bin capacity we will increase recycling in the region of ten percent.”

“A smaller [140-litre] black bin will give more than enough space for non-recyclable waste for a normal household”

“There are some households that have and will continue to need additional capacity such as large families or residents with medical conditions. This will continue, but in most cases be limited to one 240-litre bin. The qualifying criteria will be a minimum of six people, or at least three children in nappies. The qualifying criteria for medical conditions will remain unchanged.”

To support households in the transition to smaller bins there will be a comprehensive communication campaign providing advice on how to reduce waste and recycle.

Speaking at the November meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning Committee, Kristy Spindler, waste manager at SGC, stated that the planned changes are expected to be implemented in “late 2016 or early 2017”.

Asked why the draft Waste Strategy document includes no mention of the council’s garden waste collection service, for which an opt-in charge was introduced in 2014, she said this was a “political issue” that would be addressed separately in the council’s budget for 2016/17 (more to follow soon).

• Consultation documents and response forms are available at local libraries and online at

Image: Diagram showing the average volume of black bin waste in a 240-litre bin and the same waste in a 140-litre bin (excludes waste placed in black bins that could have been recycled – on average 52% of the bin content, according to the council’s figures for 2014).

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. So Lopresti was elected after putting out leaflets attacking the so-called Bin Tax – and now the Conservative Council plans to halve our bin sizes – given we are paying the same amount of council tax this is a de facto Bin Tax! Resign!!!

  2. I haven’t put a single bin out for five years.

    I built a simple double-skinned 4ft x 4ft x 4ft breeze block construction in my back garden. Rubbish of all natures goes in and once a week I set fire to it.

    The resulting ashes are swept into a black bin bag which I put into next door’s bin (she’s elderly, lives on her own and only ever fills half a bin).

    Everyone’s a winner.

  3. Paying large amounts of money already, I recycle and have family of 4 with animals and my bin is full every week. If you giving us smaller bins then need to reduce council tax to compensate .
    Already out back of my house by flats there is over 20 black sacks dumped and household items , this will get worse.

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