Wheelie bins will be used for recycling in parts of Hangleton and Portslade when a trial starts in November.
More than 4,000 homes will be given 240-litre wheelie bins – bigger than those used for general rubbish.
The new wheelie bins will be used for paper, card, cans and plastic bottles. Only glass will continue to be collected using black boxes in the trial area.
A report to members of Brighton and Hove City Council said that the trial would be evaluated after six months.
The cost of the trial was estimated to be £135,000 – or about £30 for every home – with the bins costing £24 each, including delivery.
The report said: “The cost of communication materials including bin stickers and surveying residents is £5.75 per household.”
The committee was told that the cost of the trial would be funded over two years from commercial waste collection income, textile recycling income and reduced costs from refuse disposal.
The report said: “Wheelie bins offer a number of advantages over black boxes. They are easier to use for residents, reduce manual handling and their roll out is expected to improve the efficiency of the collection service.”
The committee agreed to use “up to £135,000 from corporate reserves in the 2015-16 financial year with repayments made over the two following financial years”.
It agreed that: “The repayment will first be funded from any savings generated from increased recycling as a result of the trail, with any remaining repayment funded from identified underspends in the service area such as income generated from new textile recycling and commercial waste schemes.
“The trial will assess the impact of the container change on recycling rates, collection efficiency and resident satisfaction with the service to inform any decisions on wider roll out of wheelie bins.”
The report also said: “Kerbside recycling is collected using plastic boxes with 50-litre capacity.
“Collections using boxes were introduced before the materials recovery facility (MRF) was constructed at Hollingdean and the main materials (paper, card, cans, plastic bottles and glass) had to be sorted into compartments on the collection vehicle.
“Residents were asked to keep these materials separate, either by having a box for each material or by compartmentalising material within their boxes.
“This was the only way high-quality recycling could be collected in the absence of sorting infrastructure.
“The MRF opened in 2007 which enabled paper, card, cans and plastic bottles to be comingled and sorted at the facility.
“This made the service easier to use for residents and it made collections more efficient eliminating the need to sort materials at the collection point.
“Shards of glass also have a detrimental impact on the wear and tear of the sorting equipment in the MRF.
“Kerbside sort collections required compartmentalised vehicles. The disadvantage of these vehicles was that if one compartment was full, the crew had to return to tip the materials and the overall capacity of the vehicles was limited.
“The old vehicles have now come to the end of their life and most have been replaced with ‘twin pack’ vehicles.
“The new vehicles look like normal refuse trucks but have two compartments – one larger compartment for mixed paper, cans, card and plastic bottles which is tipped in the MRF and a smaller compartment for glass which is tipped separately.
“These new vehicles have standard bin-lifting equipment so currently crews empty recycling boxes into wheelie bins, which are then emptied in to the vehicles.
“Wheelie bins are expected to increase the amount of recycling collected and realise a number of advantages for residents including
- Wheelie bins are be easier to handle for residents who will need fewer containers.
- Wheelie bins will generally provide residents with more capacity to store recycling. A 240-litre bin (which is proposed standard issue and is larger than the 140-litre standard issue wheelie bin for refuse collection) will have a similar capacity to five boxes.
- Wheelie bins will keep paper and cardboard dry during wet weather. Saturated paper and cardboard is generally not recycled and better containment will improve the quality of recycling.
- Wheelie bins are more robust and will require less frequent replacement. They are also less susceptible to being blown away or used for other purposes reducing replacement costs.
- In windy weather recycling does get blown out of recycling boxes, increasing litter. This would be eliminated with the use of wheelie bins.
- Issuing wheelie bins will reduce manual handling for Cityclean staff and may improve operational efficiency.
“Residents frequently request wheelie bins for recycling and the change has also been suggested by staff.
“There is a potential risk that issuing wheelie bins could result in the quality of recycling going down as collection crews will not be able to spot any contamination as readily.
“To minimise this risk the trial would be supported by clear communications including information printed on the bins as to what materials should put in the bins and the requirement to keep glass in a separate box.
“The quality of recycling is regularly monitored at the MRF and any decrease in recycling quality will be identified and help target communications with residents.
“Not all properties that currently receive a kerbside collection will be suitable for wheelie bins due for recycling due to limited storage space and areas would be audited prior to any further recommendations on rolling the scheme out.”
Councillor Joe Miller asked whether the bins could be a different colour to the existing green wheelie bins for general rubbish. His Conservative colleague Councillor Robert Nemeth added: “The colour will make a difference.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell, the Labour member who chairs the committee, said: “I can confirm that they won’t be red!”