New press officer hired to help calm fears over Wolverhampton bin collections
A council press officer has been drafted in to help keep people informed after the controversial switch to fortnightly bin collections.
Wolverhampton Council’s official will answer residents’ inquiries after the waste management service changes.
The new recruit – whose salary has not been disclosed – is set to help calm fears when the fortnightly pick-ups are rolled out in just 10 days.
Ross Cook, director of city environment, said: “The council has recently taken its waste and recycling service back in-house from a private-sector partner.
“The private-sector partner employed a communications officer and we have mirrored that arrangement on a temporary basis to assist us with the huge undertaking of informing our residents about the bin service changes and answering their inquiries.
“They are working extremely hard on producing the detailed information packs currently being sent out to every single household, responding to the hundreds of comments posted on social media, talking with housing associations, producing website content, working with our customer services team to assist with resident inquiries, explaining our new garden waste scheme and in the coming weeks and months will be promoting recycling and trade waste services.”
The first set of information packs informing residents about the changes were sent to some homes on Monday.
The switch from weekly collections will be rolled-out in phases from October 22 – initially affecting properties in Fallings Park, Heath Town, Wednesfield North and parts of Wednesfield South, Bushbury South and Low Hill.
All houses – excluding flats and apartments – will have fortnightly collections by Christmas in a move expected to save the council £2.4 million a year.
Garden waste collections will also stop and an optional £35-a-year service will start next February.
Councillor Steve Evans, the council's cabinet member of city environment, said: "These waste service changes are being forced on us by ongoing central government cuts and we are one of the last areas of the country to move to fortnightly.
"Having reluctantly taken the decision to do this, it is vital that we roll out the changes as smoothly as possible and good communications with the 80,000 affected households is essential so that people understand what is happening and when.”