Monthly bin collections hailed a 'success' despite residents complaining of rats and stenches

Original by Katie Morley and Emily Prescott, The Telegraph - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/08/monthly-bin-collections-hai…

Monthly bin collections are blighting residents' lives with rats, stenches and fly tipping,  residents in conwy Wales have said, despite their local council hailing the scheme as a success.

 

Conwy council reduced the frequency of general waste collections to monthly back in 2016 and now claims the move has radically boosted recycling to record levels. 

Many parts of the UK are now moving towards bin collections every three to four weeks in a bid to cut down on residual waste and increase recycling.

Figures comparing the last three months of 2018 with the same time period in 2017 show that household recycling is up by 11.5 per cent with an extra 363 tonnes recycled, while refuse is down by 457 tonnes, a 12 per cent reduction, the council said.

A spokesman for Conwy county council said: "The new service put recycling at the heart of collections and the benefits are already becoming clear. Conwy is now recycling more than ever before and sending less to landfill.

Cabinet member councillor Donald Milne said residents were now "incredibly motivated" to recycle. "They know that there are local and global benefits to recycling as much as they can, and by making the most of the weekly collections, they are already making an impact", he said.

But meanwhile families have complained about having to store stinking rubbish for weeks in overflowing wheelie bins or their homes, and rats have been seen in residential areas.

Many have posted images of overflowing bins online, with some complaining of "bin wars" where neighbours are sneaking rubbish into each others bins. 

Others admitted they had bought an incinerator so they could burn rubbish in their back gardens, a process which is harmful for the environment.  

Householders also face a record increase in council tax despite the reduced wheelie bin emptying while the council has opened a huge new office complex.

Meanwhile official data shows there has been an increase in fly tipping in the area since the policy was introduced. There were 214 incidents of fly-tipping recorded in the Conway area October/November 2017, rising to 250 incidents in the same period last year.

Janet Finch-Saunders, Conservative MP and Assembly Member for Aberconwy, said she wanted to see four weekly bin collections banned.

She said: “I have never been a supporter of four weekly bin collections. I have families really struggling! We’ve got an older demographic here and some of them are literally unable to move their bins.

Once upon a time fly-tipping would be items like beds, but now it will be lots of black refuse bags. The council say it is helping recycling, but recycling is going up everywhere as people are getting more educated.

"It is shortsighted. I would not advocate for this collections anywhere in the UK. In fact, I would like to see Welsh legislation banning four-weekly collection."