At its meeting in September, Walsall Council’s Cabinet approved plans to launch a free bulky collections trial in the Summer of 2019. Councillor Louise Harrison, Portfolio Holder for Clean and Green, asked Cabinet last night (October 24) if they would agree to bring this trial forward – a move which was unanimously supported.
Councillor Harrison said: “There has been unprecedented interest in the three trials to combat fly-tipping that we agreed last month and there has been particular interest in the free bulky collections trial.”
“The report I’ presented to cabinet focussed on details around longer opening hours for the Household Waste Recycling Centres to meet customer demands. That trial can’t begin before 1 April 2019 for contractual reasons. After talking through the logistics with officers though, the free bulky collections trial could begin earlier and so I recommended to Cabinet that we bring forward this trial and start it in early November 2018.”
Now this has move been approved by Cabinet, a six week trial is expected to run from Monday 5 November to Sunday 16 December. It means there would be 25 free collection slots available per day to residents, which would be booked on a first come first served basis. The trial would be limited to one free collection per household during the trial, with up to three items being taken in one collection, including furniture, mattresses, fridges and other white goods. This was agreed in the Cabinet Report.
Councillor Harrison added:“ Residents will be able to book their free bulky collections by calling our contact centre on 01922 653344 from Thursday 1 November.”
This initiative is one of three trials planned, all aimed at reducing the levels of fly-tipping across the borough. Free community skip days and extended opening hours at the council’s ‘tips’ are planned for 2019 as part of Walsall Council’s ongoing campaign to ‘put waste in its place’ and encourage residents to dispose of their waste legally and safely.
Councillor Harrison said: “Clearing illegal fly tipping is an increasing drain on council resources and funds – money which we would much prefer to spend on services our residents really value. I’ve been listening to what our residents have to say about how fly-tipping affects their neighbourhoods and that’s why I want to bring the trial forward.”
“Our dedicated teams do respond quickly to clear fly tipping incidents reported to us, but they shouldn’t have to – fly-tipping is a serious crime and perpetrators can face an unlimited fine and up to five years in jail. In introducing these trials, we’re trying to give our residents every opportunity to do the right thing, but if they don’t, make no mistake, we’re getting serious about dealing with fly-tippers.”