Bath & North East Somerset Lib Dems have warned of a winter of ‘bin chaos’ ahead of changes to rubbish collection in the area.
Last year, B&NES Council first announced that they would be reducing rubbish collection to every other week and introducing wheelie bins in Autumn 2017. This month, letters were sent to all residents across the district outlining what the changes would mean when they are implemented in November.
The plan by the Conservative Council, which is intended to reduce landfill use and save money, has been heavily criticised by Lib Dems councillors.
The Lib Dems say that due to a lack of a consultation, pilot scheme or trial period the plan will bring chaos, with the ‘potential to cause enormous problems for some’.
However B&NES Cabinet Members highlight the fact that B&NES is one of the last councils to switch to a fortnightly collection with the majority of councils across the country already implementing the scheme.
Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) Cabinet Member for Community Services said “Over 70% of councils across the UK, including our neighbours in Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire, already run every other week collections for rubbish in wheeled bins, and most have weekly recycling collections.
“They have all reported significant benefits including a reduction in the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, an increase in recycling, reduced street litter and cost efficiencies.”
Every lorry load of waste costs the council, and therefore the council taxpayer, £1,000 to dispose of, whilst every lorry load of recycling earns the council an income of £100.
Whilst there has been some opposition to the changes in the city of Bath and the Lib Dems say ‘many local people are still angry’, residents in the Chew Valley have been less vocal in their opinions.
Some residents that the Gazette spoke to said they were not even aware the changes were coming. For those who were aware their reaction was far more considered.
Bishop Sutton resident Anne said “I think it can only be a good thing, all the other local councils are doing it already and if it encourages people to recycle more that is good for us all.”
A former Bristol resident who is now living in the Chew Valley told the Gazette “I remember when Bristol introduced the fortnightly collection, there was the usual moaning and groaning from some but ultimately once it came into place people saw it worked. When I moved to Chew Magna it was a bit of a shock to go back to a weekly system and no wheelie bins I think it is about time B&NES caught up with the more environmentally friendly areas.”
Recycling collections will remain weekly, and wheelie bins will be sent to households before changes come into place.