LIVERPOOL council has voted in favour of scrapping weekly bin collections.
At a full council meeting tonight they agreed to recommend “alternate weekly collections” – in effect fortnightly pick-ups of either regular rubbish or recycling.
The move came despite the admission from the ruling Labour group that in the past the idea was thought to be “politically undeliverable” – but the changing financial situation and the city’s poor recycling record made it imperative.
While the Liberal Democrats and Liberals supported the Labour move, the Green group argued that by making the whole council vote on it rather than taking the decision himself under his executive powers Mayor Joe Anderson was trying to avoid criticism that he had broken a manifesto pledge.
In his vows to the electorate ahead of the May 2012 mayoral election, he had promised to keep weekly collections.
The city’s 80,000 terraces will still have their bins collected each week due to concerns about lack of storage space, but the remaining 136,000 households will undergo the change.
Cllr Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, told the meeting: “Sometimes it is important to come together on big decisions for the city and it is far more important to do good than to look good.
“I am sure if we agree this then I am going to get a lot of stick, not just if but when there are problems.
“It is extraordinary that we have Green councillors opposing something which saves money in a financial crisis and is a step forward for Green politics.”
But Green group leader Cllr John Coyne reinforced the point that his and other parties had committed to weekly recycling during recent elections.
He added that Mayor Anderson’s strategy seemed to be to say “anything difficult or controversial, let’s put it to the full council” but “on something positive like £1m to credit unions ‘I will take that decision myself and let you all know about it’.”
Liberal group leader Cllr Steve Radford said if Liverpool residents wanted to avoid the changes they would have to quickly double the level of recycling to 50% so the council could avoid the “landfill tax” charges which come with sending too much rubbish to the dump.