Postcode lottery for bin services

Post Christmas rubbish collection / refuse collection / binmen / wheelie bins
Post Christmas rubbish collection / refuse collection / binmen / wheelie bins
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The postcode lottery facing residents trying to get rid of bulky waste has been revealed.

Fylde is the most expensive place in the North West to have a fridge or freezer collected by the council – at a cost of £39.30.

For general bulky waste – anything that won’t fit in your regular bin –people living on the Fylde coast pay on average three times more than some parts of Lancashire.

It comes amid concern the cost of waste collection services is contributing to problems with fly-tipping nationally.

But the figures, uncovered as part of a BBC investigation, show the Fylde coast still has cheaper collections than the North West average.

The average cost per item for a first collection across the region is £7.50. In Blackpool and Wyre, the figure is £6.50, while in Fylde it is £6.60.

Yet in Chorley and Lancaster the cost of a single item is £20 –the highest in the North West.

At the other end of the scale, Hyndburn is the only place in Lancashire to offer free bulky waste collections, while Pendle offers to pick up 10 items for £10 –an average of £1 per item.

A Wyre Council spokesman said the authority strived to keep prices as low as possible – though they encouraged residents to consider donating items or selling them instead of throwing them away.

The spokesman added: “The cost of providing the bulky matters service is subsidised by the council. We work with our charitable partner, Calico (Furniture Matters) to collect, repair and recycle items to avoid many going to landfill sites. We strive to keep the fees applied to the service as low as possible to make it easy for householders to access.

“We are aware other organisations can also offer free collections depending on the material type and actively encourage customers to explore these options of donating to charities, selling items or even upcycling items.

The service is well used, with morning and afternoon slots both available.”

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “Fylde Council has been working in successful partnership with bulky waste collectors since 2012 to deliver a quality service with extremely high customer satisfaction rates.

“The charges are based on the running costs of the service with a very small administration fee to cover the back office call handling and order processing carried out by Fylde Council.

“The prices have been held stable for a number of years however this year there was a slight increase due to increased disposal costs for the contractor which have been taken in to account to cover the costs.”

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s deputy leader, said the Bulky Matters waste collection scheme turns “bulky waste into a reusable resource to benefit the community” and averages around 350 collections a month.

She added: “If the furniture is still in a decent condition, they’ll be able to spruce it up and re-use it in the community, so that low cost household goods can be accessed by people who most need them.

“Blackpool Council strives to keep the fees applied to the service as low as possible to make it easy for residents to access. The cost of the service is priced competitively and covers the charge for collection.

“We also provide a free of charge mobile recycling collection service called Rover which continues to be popular with residents.

“All the materials Rover collects are either recycled or sold via the Re-Use Shop at the Bristol Avenue tip – another Blackpool Council innovation.”