Bonkers! Monthly bin collections will make our streets a fly-tipping paradise, say MPs and AM

Original by John Stevens, Liz Hull, and Steve Doughty, The Daily Mail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4138644/Monthly-bins-make-stree…

MPs, AM and campaigners last night condemned the drive toward four-weekly bin collections as ‘bonkers’, amid warnings it will lead to a fly-tipping ‘epidemic’.

 

They demanded ministers intervene to halt the spread of monthly collections after residents involved in a pilot scheme told how it had made their lives a misery.

The householders in Conwy, north Wales, said they had been forced to burn rubbish in their gardens or beg older neighbours to take their waste.

And yesterday, MPs said it was clear the Government should step in to prevent more councils from moving to a monthly system. They warned that Britain faced a fly-tipping ‘epidemic’ without urgent action.

Councils in Conwy and Falkirk in Scotland are forcing householders to wait four weeks to have their bins emptied in a bid to meet tough EU recycling targets. 

But several more across the UK have admitted they could follow suit. At least another 20 local authorities, including several in Greater Manchester, North Devon and Leicestershire, have already imposed or are considering three-weekly bin collections – much to the disgust of residents.

Lib Dem MP John Pugh said last night: ‘How can families be expected to burn rotting food? In what world should this plan be rolled out nationally? It’s bonkers.’

He added: ‘The Department for Communities and Local Government needs to step in, today, and ensure this scheme is not introduced in streets across the country.’

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added that unless more money was invested in maintaining collections, there would be ‘waste heaped up on the streets’.

‘Fly-tipping is a stain on local communities and costs a fortune to clear up,’ he said.

Councils claim the move to fewer collections is in response to tough EU recycling targets that demand at least half of all household waste be recycled by 2020. They also point to financial pressures, especially in the face of the social care crisis, which has forced them to make cuts elsewhere.

Yesterday the Mail told how residents in the village of Tal y Bont, Conwy – whose bins were collected for the first time since Christmas on Monday – had resorted to standing in their bins to crush down waste, doing regular tip runs, burning rubbish in their gardens and begging elderly neighbours to take their waste.

Those taking part in the trial have their 240-litre black bin collected every four weeks, while the rest of the borough’s bins are emptied every three weeks. All other recycling and food waste is collected weekly.

The latest figures show local authorities are already forking out nearly £50million each year on dealing with fly-tipping.

Councils dealt with nearly 900,000 incidents of illegal dumping in 2014/15, with nearly two thirds of cases involving household waste. In Bury, Greater Manchester, where three-weekly collections were introduced two years ago, fly-tipping rose by 53 per cent in 2014/15 – compared to an average increase in England of 6 per cent.

Janet Finch-Saunders, Conservative assembly member for Aberconwy, north Wales, said: ‘There is a fly-tipping epidemic looming – it is only going to get worse if this four-weekly collection continues. North Wales is an area with seaside resorts and towns that rely on tourism.

‘If we have black bin bags littering the streets, it just doesn’t look good – people will be put off from coming to visit.’