North Lanarkshire Council has approved changes to bin collections

Brown bins will now be used for garden and food waste
Brown bins will now be used for garden and food waste

North Lanarkshire Council has officially announced that general waste bins will only be collected every three weeks from this autumn.

The Policy and Resources Committee today (Wednesday) approved changes to bin collections in a bid to meet strict national recycling targets and invest money in its household waste recycling centres.

The new scheme will see a reduction in the number of bins collected and a change in what goes in bins.

Food and garden waste will be collected in a single bin, collected fortnightly, with other bins for: paper and card; glass, metal and plastic; and residual waste each being collected on a three-weekly cycle.

Every household will have at least one of their bins collected weekly, with two bins having to be put out every second week.

The Scottish Government’s Zero Waste plan requires 60 per cent of household waste to be recycled by 2020 and 70 per cent by 2025. The council expects to achieve 46 per cent for 2016/17.

As part of the plans, the council will also invest £1.5 million in the new service, with additional investment in the household waste recycling centres to improve the service for residents. The changes will save £670,000 a year.

Council leader and convener of the Policy and Resources Committee councillor Jim Logue said: “I believe we have little choice but to change our waste collections if we are going to meet the national targets set out in the Zero Waste plan.

“We also need to invest in our recycling centres to improve the service there and, inevitably, we require to save money. In my view, this is the best way to achieve those aims.

“Many councils have already moved to this model or a similar one with every other council considering it as we approach the 2020 target date.

“While I had a strong view about residual waste bins being collected every three weeks based on a previous report from some time ago, this report sets out exactly why that has to be done now.

“In simple terms, if every householder recycles everything that can be recycled then they won’t have much to put in their residual bin.”

As part of the plans, the small food waste caddy will be surplus to requirements, with all food and garden waste going in the brown bin.

The changes will take place in the autumn, with a resident engagement campaign to raise awareness and help residents understand what waste goes in which bin and when those bins will be collected.