As improvements to doorstep waste management services for residents continue, Wigan Council’s refuse fleet is enjoying a major overhaul – and it’s long overdue.
Over the coming months 23 new vehicles, courtesy of CPD Ltd of Chorley, will be hitting the borough’s streets. Vehicles with years of solid service, but which are suffering more and more service-affecting breakdowns, are being removed from the service.
The lorries have been purchased as part of a joint order with Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale councils that has saved the taxpayer well over half a million pounds.
Cllr Kevin Anderson, Cabinet Member for the Environment, says: “This is a major investment in one of our most important frontline services. The older vehicles have served us well, but they are well past their sell-by date.
“The new fleet will improve service reliability and reduce maintenance costs by over £160 000 a year. We’ll also be looking to cut our annual £½million fuel bill through improved training for drivers.”
Top tips for fuel saving motoring which can be applied to any driver include using higher gears – moving to fifth gear can save up to 20 per cent of fuel. Half of all tyres are under-inflated; Just 2psi below the recommended pressure may increase fuel consumption by 1 per cent. Never accelerate towards a red light; ease off in good time and if you know the area, and know the lights will be on red for a minute, then switch off – some modern cars do this anyway .
Cllr Anderson also paid tribute to Wigan borough’s army of avid recyclers, ahead of the introduction of food waste collections which are being phased in between May and August. He adds: “Food waste currently counts for about a fifth of the average black bin contents, so we’re going to be doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible to compost it.
“It’s much cheaper to recycle and compost waste than to send it to landfill. At a time when we have to make £66million of cuts over the next four years, this will help save £14million for essential frontline services.”
He acknowledged that improving how residents’ waste is disposed of means a new way of thinking about bins. Cllr Anderson says: “We understand that some residents may be nervous about the prospect of a food waste collection. Householders will therefore have the option of putting their food waste into their black bin on the week that their green bin isn’t being emptied. This would mean their food waste could still be collected every week.”