Blue bins a 'blot on the landscape'

RESIDENTS in picture-postcard Southwold have blasted a new household recycling scheme – after claiming the "garish" blue bins would be "appalling blots on the landscape".

RESIDENTS in picture-postcard Southwold have blasted a new household recycling scheme - after claiming the "garish" blue bins would be "appalling blots on the landscape".

Homes in the genteel seaside resort will be receiving new bins in early May, along with a number of other locations in the Waveney district.

But concern has been voiced that the town's image - which has made it one of the most desirable places to live in East Anglia - could be blighted by the coloured bins.

Waveney District Council is introducing a three-bin system in early May when each household will receive extra green and blue wheeled bins. Home-owners can opt out of the scheme.

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Residents will be asked to place plastic, paper, metal and cardboard into the blue bin; fruit, grass cuttings, plants and leaves into the green bin; and all other waste into their current black bins.

Each one will be collected fortnightly - currently, black bins are collected weekly - but many Southwold residents are concerned.

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As well as the visual impact, there are also concerns about the smell of rubbish if it is left outside for two weeks, the lack of space in some narrow streets and alleyways for the bins, and the future of the town's current waste and recycling site.

Maureen Macheath, of Gun Hill, said: "Under no circumstance am I prepared to have a garish blue bin in my drive.

"I recycle, compost and try to be as environmentally friendly as possible but I live in a conservation area, live in a listed house where I am not allowed to even change the exterior paint colour and find it extraordinary that the district council wish to impose such an ill-thought out idea for conservation areas.

"Driving in the Waveney area, the blue bins are appalling blots on the local landscape. I am willing to put blue paint on the lid of one of my bins to help the recycling process, but a blue bin - no way!"

At a recent Southwold Town Council meeting, Mayor Sue Allen, echoed the concerns.

She said: "I think it looks dreadful when going through Reydon with all the different colour bins."

She says she has very little room at the back of the building where she lives, which includes two other flats, and believes keeping waste in black bins outside for at least two weeks, especially during the summer, may generate a bad smell in the resort.

Town and district councillor Michael Ladd has already gone through a list with the district council of narrow streets where lack of space and accessibility may cause problems, but highlighted another problem of the scheme at a town council meeting this week.

"The vast majority of people in Southwold do take their stuff to be recycled, but the more people recycle on doorstep, less need there may be for a recycling site."

The town's current waste and recycling site at Blyth Road has faced an uncertain future before but Suffolk County Council says it has no plans to close the site at present.

Nevertheless, Barrie Remblance, chairman of neighbouring Reydon Parish Council, says the multi-bin system, which has been in place in Reydon for five months, has been a success but acknowledges there may be some problems.

"The bins are usually kept out the front which looks unsightly. The recycling side of it is working very well, as there is very little waste for the black bins which we now share with a neighbour but with a big family it may be a problem."

A spokesman for the district council said: "Everyone in Southwold should have received a leaflet and they can opt out of the initiative. We hope that most people don't. The initial response from Southwold is that a lot of residents already compost and would not want a green bin, just a blue one."

A recycling roadshow is due to visit Southwold on April 21 at 3.30pm. Anybody wanting to opt out of the scheme, which is due to start on May 4, can call the district council on 01502 523561.


n Household waste is growing by about 3% every year and most of it is disposed of in landfill sites.

n About two thirds of our waste is green waste, paper and plastic.

n Bungay, Beccles, Carlton Colville, Halesworth and Holton will also be entering the next phase of recycling along with Southwold.

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