Spencer Feldman, who heads up Waste Concern – a private residential waste collection service – argues that the uptake of alternate weekly collections (AWCs) among councils are not popular with the public and are an inefficient collection model for household rubbish.

Despite moves within local government circles to gather evidence for the support of AWCs, Feldman claims that fortnightly collections – which are thought to be operated by nearly 50% of local authorities – are “purely a cost-cutting exercise” designed to meet national recycling targets.

In an exclusive interview, he told edie: “The fact that [councils] are having to undertake fortnightly collections as a way of fulfilling their targets has no real benefit to recycling.

“My belief is that councils shouldn’t be dealing with waste in the first place. They are spending people’s money [on waste services] and not getting any real value out of it.”

Feldman claims that up to 17% of council tax goes on municipal waste collection and that if these collections were privatised and operated on a weekly or more frequent basis, companies such as his could offer a much cheaper and more efficient service to householders.

He maintains that in many cases, much of the waste collected by councils – particularly those operating in-house – still goes to landfill, and that if the service were privatised it would result in more reclamation of valuable materials and energy recovery.

“At the moment there is considerable amounts of money being lost through the Government’s way of running household waste collection. Councils aren’t making the most of the waste they are producing.”

Feldman’s company Waste Concern, which was borne out of his frustration at losing a weekly rubbish collection, offers a tailored waste collection scheme to householders.

Set up in 2007, it currently operates over 500 collections a month from the Midlands downwards and has just relaunched as it looks to extend its reach further north.

Maxine Perella

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