The change, agreed by Manchester City Council’s Executive committee , will see households’ current 240-litre capacity black bins replaced by new 140-litre grey bins.
The council estimates that the change will save £2.4m per year in waste disposal costs, through increased recycling rates across the city. If every item of recyclable waste in Manchester was recycled, an estimated £16.5m per year would be saved.
Manchester currently has a recycling rate of 33 per cent, the lowest rate among the Greater Manchester local authorities – and far behind Trafford (62 per cent) and Stockport (61 per cent), both authorities which have already made the move to fortnightly collection of 140-litre bins for non-recyclable waste.
All nine of the Greater Manchester authorities covered by the GM Waste Disposal Authority have already changed, or are in the process of changing, their non-recyclable waste collection to either a 140-litre bin collected fortnightly, or a 240-litre bin collected once every three weeks.
Manchester residents will continue to receive a weekly waste collection – with their grey bin and their recycling bins emptied on alternate weeks – and households who need extra recycling capacity can order larger or extra recycling bins, for free.
After the change, Manchester households will still have a higher overall weekly bin capacity than they did in 2002 – and will have the option of increasing capacity from its current level of 500 litres per week to 550 litres, if they order larger recycling bins.
Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Nigel Murphy, said: “When recyclable waste is not recycled in the bins provided, it harms the environment and also means that money is effectively being thrown away.
“It’s vitally important that we take action now to boost the city’s recycling rates. Doing nothing is not an option and the savings of £2.4m per year made will help us to protect other council services that residents care about, such as road maintenance, leisure centres and play facilities for children.
Roll-out for the new grey bins will begin in August and is set to be completed by the end of October 2016.