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Aston: Brum’s Green Refuseniks

Aston: Brum’s Green Refuseniks

🕔13.Dec 2013

Sutton Coldfield thrashes poor old Aston in Birmingham’s green wheelie bin league… but keep an eye on Harborne. 

The people of Birmingham are hardly falling over themselves to take advantage of the city council’s kind offer to provide a green waste collection service for £35 a year, the latest statistics show.

With winter upon us and the growing season a dim and distant memory, it is time to assess the success or otherwise of the city’s switch to wheelie bins.

Fewer than five per cent of households are paying to have grass cuttings and other garden waste collected, and the take-up rate across Birmingham is patchy to say the least.

Refuse crews used to pick up and dispose of garden waste free of charge, but that changed when the city’s £30 million switch to wheelie bins got underway. Families were told if they wanted a green bin, or green sacks, they’d have to pay for the privilege.

Judging by the figures, there must be a great many people making their own arrangements to dispose of garden waste, possibly following council advice to compost, or more likely taking refuse themselves to recycling centres.

Of Birmingham’s 420,000 households, just 16,876 have signed up for the green waste collection scheme.

As might be expected, the most enthusiastic response has been in wealthy and leafy Sutton Coldfield where 5,000 households have handed over the £35 fee. Coming up on the rails, though, is Harborne, the ward of wheelie bins cabinet member James McKay, where 751 households have opted to pay to have their garden waste collected.

The take up in inner city wards has been shockingly low, with only 16 households in Aston taking advantage of the scheme – in a ward with a population of 28,000 people.

Nechells (27), Ladywood (41), Bordesley Green (58) and Soho fare little better.

There appears to be tough resistance to the green waste collection service in wards with Liberal Democrat councillors. The party has campaigned vociferously against the introduction of wheelie bins.

In Perry Barr, only 288 households are in the scheme. The take up is 207 in South Yardley, 287 in Stechford and Yardley North and 423 in Sheldon.

Where are you in the Green Wheelie Bin League?

Premier Division

Sutton Four Oaks 1,729

Sutton Vesey 1,232

Sutton Trinity 1,057

Sutton New Hall 1,036

Harborne 751


Quinton 697

Northfield 649

Weoley 612

Bournville 610

Hall Green 600

Moseley & Kings Heath 560

Brandwood 540

Billesley 479

Erdington 474

Edgbaston 465

Oscott 436

Sheldon 423

First Division

Bartley Green 400

Longbridge 375

Selly Oak 348

Kings Norton 338

Hodge Hill 320

Perry Barr 288

Stechford & Yardley North 287

Shard End 281

Handsoworth Wood 260

Second Division

Kingstanding 260

Acocks Green 222

Stockland Green 222

Tyburn 216

South Yardley 207

Springfield 136


Soho 67

Washwood Heath 67

Bordesley Green 58

Lozells & East Handsworth 54

Ladywood 41

Sparkbrook 36

Nechells 27

Aston 16*


*It seems only fair that the 16 plucky ‘green waste’ families in Aston should be named and given the service for free, to encourage the others.

Cover Image: via Waste in the City

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