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Birmingham takes steps towards a cleaner and greener future


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A fleet of Mobile Household Recycling Centres (MHRCs) is set to roll out on the streets of Birmingham as part of the council’s effort to achieve cleaner streets.

The four MHRCs will each feature three vehicles: a regular refuse collection vehicle for waste with no other use, a van for taking away items that can be reused by charities and a wagon with multiple compartments, enabling people to drop off waste for recycling by material type – just like at a conventional HRC.

During the pilot project, which represents £1.4million of a £7.2million investment in street scene services, each of the council’s 69 wards will receive at least one visit from an MHRC in the next year.

Other projects and initiatives set to be rolled out in the year ahead include new mobile CCTV camera technology to detect fly-tipping, the launch of a Crimewatch-style YouTube series to help the council trace waste crime culprits, as well as a renewed offer of support to community groups doing their bit to make Birmingham’s streets cleaner and greener.

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’re grateful for the work done by residents to keep their areas clean, and this is all about the council doing everything it can to play its part in delivering on one of the critical priorities for people in this city.

“That’s why we have assembled a bold programme of activity, supported by investment, to tackle some long-term and deep-rooted issues affecting our neighbourhoods.”

A further initiative that forms part of this broader city-wide project is deploying more crews to clear dumped rubbish and graffiti. Following a trial period, an assessment will then be carried out to decide if the scheme should continue, be modified, or pursue other options.

Dates for the services will be announced shortly, with the MHRCs initially being deployed in areas that rank highly in the fly-tipping league table, poorly on environmental cleanliness surveys, and low for take-up of the council’s paid-for bulky waste services.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, added: “Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen weekly fly-tipping case numbers increase significantly. In a typical week just before the global health crisis, we received 500-600 reports of dumped rubbish. Fast forward to the present day, and we now regularly get more than 800 reports a week.

“We are open to trialling new innovations as we are determined to deliver on the wishes of residents and businesses, and this will be just one of many things we will be introducing in the coming months to make our shared environment a better place for everyone.”

Written by: David Watkins

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