Research carried out since the introduction of wheelie bins to six streets in Bournbrook suggests the local environment is cleaner as a result of the scheme.
The wheelie bin initiative – led by Birmingham City Council and the University of Birmingham – was launched in February as a potential solution to a long-running localised problem with litter in an area of the city home to a high proportion of students.
Surveys carried out on January 28 (before the bins were delivered to 1,200 properties) show that 75 per cent of pavements in the area had unsatisfactory levels of litter, based on Keep Britain Tidy criteria.
A follow-up study on March 14 (six weeks after the introduction of the bins) showed this had been slashed to less than nine percent – a direct result of less spillage littering the pavements.
Cllr Karen McCarthy, Selly Oak District Chair, said: “These findings are hugely encouraging and would appear to show that wheelie bins are having a positive impact for Bournbrook.
“This is a first for Birmingham, and the feedback from residents has been good too. I have had people living on adjacent streets asking me when they are going to be considered for wheelie bins, which is probably the greatest tribute of all.
“We must also acknowledge the role played by the university, students and other households participating in the scheme. Without their willingness to get involved, we would not have seen this improvement in the local environment.”
The scheme, a six-month trial, is separate from the city wide plans to roll out wheelie bins that are being developed, but will offer useful feedback for the wider project, which is set to have its own pilots in Brandwood and Harborne later this year.
A contribution of £46,000 was made by the university to purchase the bins, rolled out to properties in Dawlish Road, Tiverton Road, Hubert Road, Teignmouth Road, Exeter Road, Dartmouth Road.
A spokesperson for the University of Birmingham Guild of Students added: “The scheme has been welcomed by students and the Guild which campaigned for a long time to secure wheelie bins for student houses.
“The results of the study are positive and show that the bins have so far been successful in tackling the issues surrounding refuge and waste in the area.”
Approximately three-quarters of the 1,200 properties covered by the scheme are ‘houses in multiple occupation’ – better known as student homes.
Pictures of street in Bournbrook on collection day are available from the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed
The Bournbrook initiative collection arrangements are as follows:
– Each student property received a 360-litre wheeled bin for their “black bag” waste (holding the equivalent of approximately 4.5 black sacks), to be collected weekly
– A new paper recycling box was delivered to each property if required
– Same day collection as previously in place
– Collection from the point of storage
– Smaller wheeled containers offered to non-student residents, with capacity for 240 or 180 litres of waste (equivalent to approximately 3 or 2.25 black sacks)
– Replacement of communal bins for residual (black bag) waste with multi-material recycling banks
For more media information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621