£100M handout for councils to reinstate weekly bin rounds

Councils will be offered financial incentives to restore weekly bin collections under the Government's forthcoming Waste Review, according to newspaper reports yesterday (30 May).

In a move which is bound to upset environmental campaigners, a source close to the review told The Telegraph that funding plans – estimated at £100 million a year – had been agreed by ministers to put the plan in place.

The Telegraph stated that the return to weekly bin rounds is “being masterminded” by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.

Pickles in particular has been a vehement supporter of weekly bin collections. Last year he ordered the Audit Commission, which is due to be axed, to scrap guidance encouraging councils to undertake fortnightly collections.

A Defra spokesperson yesterday would not be drawn on the reports, calling them “speculation”, but already some waste experts have hit out at the hefty cost of the Government’s plan if it goes ahead and warn it may have a detrimental effect on recycling rates.

Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Julian Kirby said: “This decision to revert to weekly bin collections is about saving face with a vociferous minority, not about cutting waste ¬- and flies in the face of the Government’s claims to be the greenest ever.

“Fortnightly bin collections boost recycling and save councils huge sums of money by avoiding the need for costly landfill and incineration – and are popular and perfectly hygienic so long as food waste is collected weekly.”

Maxine Perella

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