Are huge underground bins the solution to Liverpool's serious rubbish problem?

Cllr Daniel Barrington gives an update on the bin plan to Liverpool council's cabinet

Huge underground super-bins could be installed across Liverpool in a plan aimed at ending serious rubbish problems in the city.

Keep Britain Tidy has found Liverpool’s litter and graffiti issues are three times greater than the national average.

Now Liverpool City Council wants to to retrofit waste collection in built-up areas in what it says is the first scheme of its kind in the UK.

Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: "These subterranean super-bins are going to make a huge difference to the quality of life for thousands of families across huge swathes of our inner-city neighbourhoods."

The biggest super-bins can to take up to 5,000 litres of waste - or a week’s worth of rubbish for 20 houses. Credit: APSE/Contenur

Councillors have now agreed to speak to residents in several local communities about the idea to design out an age-old problem with black bin bag refuse and litter.

The £1.5m scheme could begin to become a reality within months.

It would see cavernous receptacles placed in 140 locations in urban areas, many replacing existing temporary communal bins.

The council, which spends £9.5m a year collecting and recycling refuse, says the plan will create a cleaner waste solution for 27,000 terraced households which do not have the space to use a wheelie bin. It hopes the new approach will radically reduce the issue of ripped black bin bags spilling out on to streets, blighting neighbourhoods and creating hundreds of complaints a week.

Councillor Abdul Qadir, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: "Due to Liverpool having so many terraced streets, particularly to the north and east of the city centre, we’ve left thousands of families with the limited option of putting black bin bags on the street or in community bins which are easily accessed. "This has been a recipe for a litter festival at times which in turn has placed extra pressure on council resources, which is a really inefficient way to handle this."

The council says the scheme will also save time and resources by drastically cutting secondary waste-related issues such as rats, flies and smells associated with black bin bag disposal.

The bins sound an alarm when full and can be emptied and returned in under 10 minutes using a crane lift. Credit: APSE/Contenur

Black bin bag waste has also been identified as one of the contributory factors in the city having a litter problem three times the national average.

The council recently launched a partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to reduce those levels and help clean up the city.

Mayor Anderson said: "I want Liverpool to be a zero-waste city and to achieve that we need to be smarter in how we enable people to dispose of what they generate in their homes. "We need to consult with communities on the locations but when installed these bins will have both an immediate and dramatic impact on the cleanliness of our streets and will save the council a huge amount of time and money for many years to come.

"They are an environmental and economic win-win."