Debate Magazine


Posted on the 24 September 2018 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
Controversial four-weekly bin collections will be rolled out across a county on Monday - the first area in England and Wales to make the move...
It has been met with controversy, with residents and councillors calling it "unfair" and claiming the trial brought more rats, seagulls and flies. Conwy council said it had addressed concerns and it could save £390,000.
Many parts of the UK are now moving towards three-weekly bin collections in a bid to cut down on residual waste and increase recycling.

Conwy County Borough has 116,550 residents, so about 50,000 households.
Divide £390,000 (let's assume this is an annual figure) by 50,000, that's £7.80 per household, or about 1% of their Council Tax bills. Not clear if they are moving from two- or from three-weekly collection to four-weekly, but it works out at 60p or £2 per bin collection.
So clearly, cost savings are not the motivation:
Conwy County Borough say:
A year-long trial showed that putting recycling at the heart of the service has really paid off, with residents’ recycling more than ever since their refuse collection went to 4 weekly...
The service change will mean that all Conwy residents will have:
* a weekly collection for food waste;
* a weekly collection for paper, card, Tetra Paks, cans, aerosols, foil, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, tubs and trays and batteries;
* a fortnightly collection for green waste, textiles and small electrical waste;
* a refuse collection every four weeks; and
* a weekly nappy or incontinence products collection for those who need it.

So in defence of the council, you should only be putting "stuff that doesn't rot" into your four-weekly bin anyway. Where I live, they empty the green bin (food and garden waste) weekly and alternate between the recycling and the black bin (general waste), so the black bin is emptied once a fortnight.. Our black bin is hardly ever more than half full, and probably never more than half full two fortnights on the trot, so in theory, four-weekly is just about do-able (depending how big the bins are).
Going against the council is the fact that they are already spending all that extra money (rightly or wrongly) doing all the weekly collections. Ultimately, they are relying on people's public spiritedness to put the right stuff in the right bin and not in the general waste; only picking up general waste once every four weeks has a purely punitive aspect to it.
That is the spiteful bit. It's not just the naughty people who put food waste in the general waste bin who are being punished, their immediate neighbours suffer too.

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