Funding for weekly waste collections

The Communities Secretary has announced a new £250m fund to help councils retain or return to weekly refuse collections. The funding could also be used for innovations inservices, such as reward schemes. This Alert will helplocal authoritiesto start planning now in preparation for any bid to help run this key council service in their local community.


The new “Weekly Collections Support Scheme” aims to help councils deliver weekly collections and in the process make it easier for families to go green and improve the local environment.  The announcement follows the statement in the Waste Review earlier this year that the Government would work with councils to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish collections and make it easier to recycle, and to tackle measures which encourage councils specifically to cut the scope of collections.

As well as offering financial support for weekly collections, the funding will also enable innovative solutions such as reward schemes, innovative technologies, joint working and better procurement.

Councils will be able to bid for a mix of revenue and capital funding, including up to 100% capital investment.  They will be able to bid either individually or in consortia, and also with the private sector - where that may increase VfM. Councils that are at present still providing a weekly collection service will be able to apply for funding to continue with this.

Councils will have to guarantee to reinstate or retain weekly collections of residual waste for at least five years. The bids must demonstrate the potential to increase recycling rates or provide other environmental benefits alongside weekly collections, and/or improve VfM.

Next steps

DCLG will shortly be inviting councils to submit innovative bids for funding.  Whilst the details of the scheme are not yet known, in order to get the most from this scheme councils need to start planning for it now.  In particular, you should:

  • consider engaging with local communities to see if they are in favour of a return to weekly collections.
  • consider if there are any other ways that you can take advantage of this funding, for example a local reward scheme.
  • review existing waste contracts - you may need to renegotiate with your waste contractor and check the procurement rules first. 


Bevan Brittan has one of the UK’s leading legal advisory Waste teams.  We advise Councils on all aspects of waste and environmental services delivery.  We are currently advising councils and government agencies on several Waste Collection, Street Cleansing and Recycling projects - covering all legal elements such as contracts, procurement, property, funding and planning matters.  If you would like any further information or advice on this area, please contact Nadeem Arshad or Christopher Jarman.

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