Cost concerns for Broadland’s plan to give more residents weekly bin collections

Council officials are debating whether they can afford to give residents extra weekly bin collections once government incentives run out.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has pledged to provide �250m to help councils across the UK bring back weekly bin collections.

This led to Broadland District Council expressing an interest in extending its weekly food waste collection service beyond the Norwich urban fringe villages.

But funding will only be available for three years, leaving the authority with a dilemma of either starting the new service and ending it shortly after or finding extra money to keep it running in the long-term.

Senior Conservative councillors and officers are to discuss the issue in private tomorrow, with the press and public expected to be excluded from this section of the cabinet meeting.

A council spokesman said this was because matters concerning the authority's waste contract with Veolia were included.

She said: 'The situation at the moment is we did put in an expression of interest that's non-binding. The reason it is to go to cabinet to decide to make a bid for funding is because the money will only last three years. There are cost implications of expanding the service.'

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It is not yet known how many houses the proposed collection service could help. This is because it would depend on how much money the government provided.

Broadland's food waste collection service involves two bins, including a small container known as a caddy being used to collect waste in the kitchen. This is then transferred to a larger container kept outside.

Residents in 10 of Broadland's areas currently receive the weekly food waste collection service, including Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston and Hellesdon.

Meanwhile, European-inspired proposals to make Norwich the first UK city to house on-street recycling bins are nearing reality after months of delays.

Blipvert UK first revealed in February 2010 its intention to install bins in the city known as urban green points to collect unwanted or used items including mobile phones and batteries.

But despite earmarking almost 50 potential sites for the bins, the company is only now getting close to receiving permission to install 10.

richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

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