Evening bin pick-up could save £800,000

9/6/2011 Edinburgh' Binbag (trade waste) collection on the Royal Mile. Pic Neil Hanna
9/6/2011 Edinburgh' Binbag (trade waste) collection on the Royal Mile. Pic Neil Hanna

BINMEN are set to start evening collections in a bid to save money.

Refuse collectors will start working backshifts which will mean lorries are on the road in the morning and at night.

Fife Council will make an estimated saving of £800,000 by halving the number of vehicles it has to hire.

At the moment kerbside collections take place between 7.30am and 6pm.

But under the new scheme, which will start in the summer, binmen will work from 6am until 9pm on weekdays on a two-shift system.

OUTCOME

Bob McLellan, head of transportation and environmental services, said the council had “large sums of money tied into the collection vehicle fleet which is currently under-utilised.”

He said: “It was considered that the vehicles could be worked twice as hard to provide the same outcome as at present, thereby reducing the household collection fleet by 50 per cent with no change to the numbers of staff engaged on refuse collection work. ”

There had been concerns raised about bin lorries entering council estates on dark nights when children might be out playing in the streets.

SUPPORT

But a survey carried out by the local authority showed strong support for the scheme from the public.

Mr McLellan continued: “Members of the People’s Panel were asked if they would be happy to have household refuse collected in the evening.

‘‘The result revealed that 90 per cent of those asked were happy.

“This paved the way for discussions with the trade unions to establish an appropriate shift pattern.”

It is hoped negotiations will be completed in March.

If agreed, the new shiftwork pattern will be introduced in June or July this year.