NEW bin hubs are being installed on streets in the south of Glasgow ready for a big shake-up in refuse collections.

Across Pollokshields, the hubs, housing five bins, are going in to end backcourt collections.

The council said it will make the collections more efficient and improve health and safety for workers.

Separate bins are being put in place: two for general waste, one for paper and card recycling, one for plastic packaging, plastic bottles, food tins, drinks cans and cartons, and one for food waste.

The recycling bins will be able to take more material than at present.

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The hubs will be used for tenement properties where currently bin workers are dragging bins through back closes and often up and down stairs, often for much of their shift.

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Under the new system, people will take their rubbish to the hub on the streets and put it in the dedicated bin.

On the hub frame, each bin has a large explanation of what goes inside the different bins.

The hubs will serve on average 24 properties, depending on their size and no-one should have to walk more than 50 metres to get to their hub.

The recycling will be picked up every eight days and the general waste every four days.

Ruairi Kelly, convenor for neighbourhoods, showed the Glasgow Times the new hubs and explained how the system will operate and how it is expected to lead to improvements.

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He said: “It increases efficiency. The time to empty the bins will be shorter for workers.

“We know there are concerns about health and safety just now. This should lead to less time off because of injury.”

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While the Glasgow Times observed the installation in Pollokshields the bins were being emptied.

Workers were hauling large green bins up several sets of stairs and through closes to reach the refuse truck.

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He said there will be an overall improvement as it should mean workers are not being switched from other services, like parks, to help empty bins.

It is expected the hubs will be better for residents, with increased frequency and also other services should improve.  

While it is a first for Glasgow and a big change moving from backcourt collections it is not a new idea.

Councillor Kelly added: “People are used to having these in Europe where most cities have on-street bins.” 

Union officials have some concerns about the scheme, around jobs with the council admitting it will make savings and also around fly-tipping and vermin.

The GMB, which represents cleansing workers, fears there will still be fly-tipping at the bins and is concerned rats will simply move from back courts to the streets, following their source of food.

Eddie Scanlon, group manager, neighbourhoods and sustainability, said the pilot will be closely monitored to spot any issues.

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On fly tipping, he said many will be covered by street CCTV.

He said: “Commercial premises are all being contacted.

“If we find inappropriate use, we will move to enforcement action.”

Councillor Kelly, added: “Increasing frequency of collections means fewer opportunities for vermin.

“Food waste should all be in food bin and it is easier for them to get into the backcourt bins.”

The bin hubs will be a regular feature around the streets of Pollokshields as they are put in place over the next seven weeks.

The hubs will also be trialled later in Haghill and in a small area of Finnieston, before a potential roll-out across the city.

It is hoped it will improve Glasgow’s recycling rate with less contamination and more of the right material going into the right bin.

Mr Scanlon explained that each bin will open differently, for example black bags will not fit through the smaller opening for the recycling bin.

He said there will be a key for the waste bin that only residents will get.

He said: “We'll be bigger on education and enforcement to make this a success. We will be bigger on data monitoring.

“Supervisors can see what is happening. There is a bin chip to monitor for contamination, what's in the bin and when it was collected.”

As soon as bins are in and old ones are removed collections will start, then once all the hubs are in place the monitoring of the pilot begins.

Councillor Kelly acknowledged the scale of the change.

He said: “There is always a reaction to waste changes but once it has been explained to people the engagement has been positive.

“We know it's a big change.  We're doing as much engagement as possible.  We’ve tried to be as open about the challenges and also the benefits. We've been honest with residents and with unions.”