West Suffolk: Bigger bins coming to region

West Suffolk House in Bury which is home to St Edmundsbury Borough Council

West Suffolk House in Bury which is home to St Edmundsbury Borough Council - Credit: Archant

AN increased number of bigger bins will be installed across west Suffolk’s streets and parks to cope with more litter and to increase efficiency.

The 240-litre bins have already been put in place in Central Walk, Bury St Edmunds, and along Newmarket High Street with more possible in Risbygate Street, Out Risbygate and recreation grounds in Haverhill.

Four new trucks, worth about £42,000 each, designed to pick up larger street bins have also been ordered and will join two existing vehicles.

The plans are set out in a report by the task and finish group to the St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, which states that £127,500 of efficiency savings have been made as part of the Joint Cleansing Service - a partnership between St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath District Council.

Chris Silverwood, waste operations manager for West Suffolk, said bigger bins would mean fewer collections for litter crews. He added: “The idea of the task and finish group was to look at and investigate overflowing bins, therefore we had to look at capacity. So, there is an increase in capacity at certain places, obviously to try and minimise the chance of overflowing bins. It means you have to go round fewer times.

“You visit bins less frequently, so therefore it’s more efficient. Certainly the ones down Newmarket High Street have been a great success.”

The report states that the introduction of 240-litre wheelie bins, which are placed within bespoke housing, also prevents manual handling.

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It adds there are plans to remove existing units and introduce a locked frame for the bigger bins where “aesthetically appropriate”.

In other steps towards efficiency, the report states that St Edmunsbury’s 630 litter bins and 290 dog bins have now been digitally mapped to help plot new sites for bins in “strategic areas.”

Of those existing bins, 97 were found in need of replacement due to lack of capacity, damage or because they were open-topped and contributing to littering when windy.

A total of 25 dog bins were highlighted as in need of replacement due to high usage.

The documents, which will be discussed on April 24, also highlight savings made by the sharing of services between St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils.

The bulk of cost cutting has come from the Shared Rural Channel Sweeping Service, which saw St Edmundsbury’s mechanical road sweeper loaned to Forest Heath for £18,409 per annum, rather than the purchase of a new vehicle costing £104,255.

Mr Silverwood said that the introduction of Routesmart, software purchased to reorganise domestic waste collection routes, also allowed crews to cover more areas more efficiently. Refurbishing bins rather than replacing them has brought in savings of £70 for each unit.

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