Hundreds of communal recycling bins are to be installed across a city centre to encourage people to go green.

Black boxes used by tens of thousands of people are to be dumped in favour of giant containers after Brighton and Hove City Council was awarded £840,000 from the Government.

Town hall bosses will use the money to install 700 new containers – some of which will take up parking spaces – to be shared by neighbours, claiming it will boost recycling rates and clear clutter from roads.

It is also expected to save the local authority £887,000 in running costs over the first six years.

Environment committee chairman Pete West said: “Increasing recycling rates is obviously a top priority for the first Green council in the UK.”

Communal bins for waste were first introduced in 2004 to help those living in flats and bedsits who did not have enough space to store their waste.

It was rolled out in 2009 to cover most of the city centre area from Sackville Road, Hove, in the west to Boundary Road in east Brighton.

More than 180,000 people rely on the system of giant street bins.

Last year the local authority introduced a trial for communal recycling bins in some streets in Brunswick and Adelaide ward.

The council said the scheme in roads off Western Road, Hove, had led to a 70% increase in recycling rates – from 12.5% to 21%.

This is still well short of the administration’s target of 50% recycling for all waste by 2020.

Coun West added: “Results from the pilot scheme show that communal recycling works well in densely populated areas of the city by making it easier for residents to recycle and keeping the streets cleaner.

“I hope this encourages other city centre residents to give the scheme a try.”

Detailed plans are to be drawn up in the coming months with consultations planned for early next year.

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “The council needs to be very aware of the impact extra bins will have on the street, in particularly the loss of parking.”

Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald said: “Recycling and rubbish collection is probably the most essential and visible of all services that the council delivers and this money removes any threat of the Green administration moving to fortnightly collections in the near future.”

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