Birmingham's recycling rates could drop following bin strikes

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
More than 300 strikers have gone on strike in Birmingham, which the council says could reduce recycling rates

Birmingham’s recycling rates could fall due to ongoing collection strikes in the city.

More than 300 workers went on strike on Monday 18 February following claims that some staff were ‘blacklisted’ for taking part in industrial action in 2017.

Fortnightly service is being temporarily offered which could mean general waste and recycling is mixed and put into the same collection vehicle.

Unite claims workers who did not take part in the 2017 strike were given secret payments by the council.

In an industrial action ballot announced on 14 December, Unite members voted by 94% in favour of strike action and 97% for industrial action short of a strike.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “It is Birmingham council whose actions led to collapse of peace talks last week by tabling an offer which was worse than the one which Unite had already rejected

"The resolution to this dispute is in the hands of Birmingham council which needs to end the discrimination and make payments to Unite members equal to what the non-striking workers have already received.”

The city’s five Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will collect all types of waste including recycling.

In a statement on its website, Birmingham City Council said a 'reasonable' amount of side waste, a maximum of three sacks, will also be collected when put out for the temporary fortnightly collection.

Brett O’Reilly, cabinet member for clean streets, waste and recycling at Birmingham City Council, said: “I know the fact that we may not be able to recycle as much as we did before will be of concern to residents who are keen to do their bit for the environment, but our top priority has to be that of citizens overall – clean streets for Birmingham.

“We are determined to resolve the dispute and have had extensive talks with Trades Union colleagues via ACAS. But until we reach a resolution we must do everything we can to minimise the disruption to the people who live in Birmingham.”

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