COUNCIL bosses say scrapping recycling bags and boxes in lieu of a move to wheelie bins has been a success.

From July last year, Hyndburn Council rolled out a scheme to split recycling between two coloured wheelie bins.

It came after Lancashire County Council ceased all cost share payments to Hyndburn Council and took ownership of all recycled materials collected and their income, which resulted in the reduction of approximately £850,000 from the council’s budget.

This, together with the continued reduction in the council’s Revenue Support Grant, required a fundamentally change in the way the Council delivered its recycling collection and street cleaning services.

A report analysing the success of the change is scheduled to go before a meeting of the council’s resources overview and scrutiny committee next week.

Executive director for environment, Steve Riley, said: “To achieve the required savings, the Council proposed a change from recycling bags and boxes to wheeled bins.

“Making this decision allowed for the standardisation of the waste collection vehicle fleet and because all the vehicles would be compaction vehicles with an additional 2 tonne capacity, the council was able to reduce the number of vehicles from 11 to 10.

“Recycling crew numbers were reduced to driver plus 2 loaders but remained at driver plus 3 loaders for domestic refuse, as these crews also collect fly-tipped waste and non-recyclable household bulky collections.

“Wheeled bins would also result in less wind- blown litter, so there could also be a reduction in the number of hand sweepers deployed each day.

“Implementing this project was a real team effort, which involved the operational staff and officers.

“This shows how a well-planned, suitably funded, large scale complex project can be successfully delivered by a small team on time and within budget.

“Whilst there were a number of requests from residents for smaller bins/to share with neighbours, feedback from councillors and residents has been very positive.

"As expected, there is also a noticeable improvement in street cleanliness because the bins keep all the recycling secure.”

Figures show the council’s recycling for 2018/19 continues to remain fairly constant at around 33% with government published figures showing Ribble Valley, Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Burnley all have lower rates.

Bosses hope to see an improvement from next year, when the figures will show the first full year impact of using wheeled bins.