Fortnightly rubbish collections on the cards?

FORTNIGHTLY rubbish collections are among the options North Somerset Council is considering as part of its plans to increase recycling

FORTNIGHTLY rubbish collections is an option North Somerset Council is considering to increase recycling rates across the district.

The local authority will also look at limiting the amount of refuse it collects on each visit,

with exceptions only on special occasions like Christmas and bank holidays.

Before May’s election Conservative councillors posted leaflets through residents’ doors pledging that they say No to Fortnightly collections’.

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But the Weston & Somerset Mercury can reveal that as part of a major u-turn the local authority’s director of development and environment, David Turner, will tell councillors at a meeting tonight, (Thurs), that the drastic measures are a real prospect.

Mr Turner will present a report to a meeting of the environmental services policy and scrutiny panel, which says Subsequent reviews of the waste strategy and the packaging of contracts for 2010 will consider:

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• Reducing the frequency of refuse collections to fortnightly while potentially increasing the frequency of collections of materials for recycling.

• Charging for collection services by weight.

• Limiting the amount of black bag waste collected on each visit with concessions only for larger households or during bank holiday and Christmas periods.

• Insisting on separation of materials for recycling or composting using statutory powers.

The collection services are currently managed by North Somerset Council’s streets and open spaces department through contracts with private companies.

The agreements last until 2010 and in his report Mr Turner says that means there will be significant opportunity to make important changes to the services the council currently provides’ in relation to:

• Reducing reliance on landfill.

• Diverting more waste towards sustainable methods of waste treatment.

• Increasing the amount of material recycled and composted.

A senior councillor told the Mercury: “It stinks. Tory promises made at the May elections are rotting faster than our waste.

“It was disingenuous to say they the council would not have to take drastic measures to control the amount of waste being collected.

“The electorate are being treated with contempt harking back to the days of rotten boroughs.”

• The report, due to be presented at the meeting tonight (Thurs) is a summary of the third annual review of the local authority’s waste strategy.

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