Refuse collection services in Birmingham fail to hit target

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Council promises to improve services and introduces iPads into waste collection vehicles

Refuse collection services in Birmingham have failed to meet their annual targets but improvements have been promised and the council has unveiled the use of iPads in its waste collection vehicles.

According to Labour’s cabinet member for the environment, refuse vehicles equipped with iPads, which provide live updates, have already helped to reduce the number of missed collections in certain areas.

The recycling rate for 2015-16 was 26.5%, compared to the target set, which was 35% and the total waste collected from households but not recycled is still at a high figure of 681kg – the target was 600kg.

The recycling target for next year has been set lower, at 30%. However, the council are putting measures in place to reach 50% by 2020 and 70% by 2030.

Lisa Trickett, the Labour cabinet member for Clean Streets and the Environment, says that while the figures are disappointing, they do come after two years of new changes, including the introduction of wheelie bins, a shake up of senior management, garden waste charges and new information technology being implemented in dust carts.

Councillor Trickett and her staff have been receiving missed collection complaints every month recently.

“In the past there was a focus on targets. The focus now is on getting the service right and being honest about the performance. This is the baseline now, and we will deliver improvement against this.” says Councillor Trickett.

She added: “At Lifford Lane depot, we have just started to put the slabs (iPads) in the cabs. Then the staff will have live information and be able to react immediately.”

However, Councillor Trickett did go on to say how important it is for households within their communities to continue to recycle and to use the services provided to them correctly.

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