15 September 2015

Members of the public are being asked for their views on proposed changes to the assisted bin collection service in Sheffield.

While most residents across the city are able to take their black bins, blue bins and blue boxes out to the kerbside for collection, an assisted collection service can be provided where there is nobody within a household who is able to do so.

This means that, on collection day, the refuse teams will collect and then return the waste or recycling containers to wherever they are usually stored.

Assisted collections are currently provided, following an application, to households where residents are aged 65 or over, or where they are under 65 but have a medical condition which prevents them from being able to put their bins out for collection, and where there is no-one who can help.

However, there are a number of problems with the current approach to assisted collections, so a consultation has now been opened on plans to make the scheme simpler and more consistent.

Councillor Terry Fox, cabinet member for environment and transport at Sheffield City Council, said: “I must be clear – this is not about saving money. It is about making the service easier for everyone to use and understand, so that we can help the most vulnerable people who need it.

“At the moment, there is a lack of clarity on the type and severity of medical conditions requiring an assisted collection. Also, the information provided by the applicant is not subjected to any checks.

“This means that many people who may be under 65 and eligible for the service, such as women who are heavily pregnant and don’t have anyone to help them, or those who are recovering from an operation, may not receive the help they are entitled to as they don’t know it is available to them.

“Equally, many people in their sixties are fit and well, and are happy and able to take their own bins out – so if they choose to do so, we can instead spend that time and money helping someone else.

“Under the proposed changes, we will be able to make absolutely sure that those residents who need the assisted bin service receive it, and make the service fairer for all.”

The proposed changes will mean that a permanent assisted collection will be provided where an application is received from a resident who is:

  • registered blind or partially sighted
  • holds a blue badge for parking
  • receives the higher rate of care component of Disability Living Allowance or enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • receives the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or enhanced mobility component of Personal Independence Payment
  • or receives the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.

Residents who do not meet these criteria may be granted a temporary assisted collection if there is a need for the service for no more than six months, such as due to illness, or recovery from an operation or injury.

People receiving the permanent assisted collection service will be contacted every three years to confirm they still live at the address and need the service.

Coun Fox added: “We are carrying out this consultation because we want to make sure that our services are provided fairly and to those who need them.

“I would encourage everyone to have their say on the planned changes, so that our decision can be informed by the views of as many people as possible.”

The consultation opens today, online at https://sheffield.citizenspace.com, and will run until Friday 23 October.

If you would like to request a paper copy of the consultation, please email wastemanagement@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 203 7621.