Blue bins make seaside resort 'tacky'

"GARISH" blue recycling bins have finally landed in picture-postcard Southwold and are being rubbished by residents fearful for the town's image.Waveney District Council is delivering the brightly-coloured wheelie-bins – earmarked for plastic, paper, metal and cardboard – to each home in Southwold that has not opted out of its new recycling scheme.

"GARISH" blue recycling bins have finally landed in picture-postcard Southwold and are being rubbished by residents fearful for the town's image.

Waveney District Council is delivering the brightly-coloured wheelie-bins – earmarked for plastic, paper, metal and cardboard – to each home in Southwold that has not opted out of its new recycling scheme.

The blue bins will soon be followed by green ones for fruit, grass cuttings, plants and leaves, with any other waste needing to go into the current black bins, before each one is collected fortnightly from June 7.

However, many residents in the genteel seaside resort famous for its high proportion of holiday homes are up in arms.


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The blue bins have been described as "lurid" and "tacky", while there are also concerns about the amount of space needed for three bins and the fact normal household waste will only be collected every other week.

Stephan Cornell, chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, has asked Southwold Town Council to write to the district council on the issue.

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He said: "I think they look absolutely appalling. They do make Southwold look tacky and after all, we do have an image that we need to preserve. I think we should just have one bin and clear us weekly – how are holiday homes going to survive if they do not know which week or where to put their rubbish?"

Geraldine Bryant, town mayor, thought the townspeople should work together to try and make the scheme successful but agreed they were not a pretty sight.

She said: "In principle, I am all for recycling but why we should have bins of such a lurid blue? It will cause quite a lot of headaches to Southwold people but this is why residents should either share bins or refuse them if they really cannot cope. Many people have to drag their bins through their house and with an aging population, that isn't easy. Any problems must be reported so we can try and solve them."

Stephen Clegg, of Pinkney's Lane, wrote to the district council asking them to re-think their recycling initiative for Southwold.

He said: "Most properties in central area of the town are originally fishermen's cottages and have no room for three wheelie bins and some have no provision for one bin. A high proportion of them are holiday homes and many are let on a weekly basis and are vacant for a large part of the year.

"Owners and tenants often have difficulty keeping with the existing regular Monday collection and unless they put their rubbish into public bins or other peoples, they have no chance with the proposed scheme."

However, a reply from Martin Plane, the council's portfolio manager for (performance) built environment, showed the authority is not willing to back down.

Mr Plane said: "We have to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill sites and increase recycling. We are working to Government directions based on European legislation have not choice but to introduce changes to the way in which we collect and manage waste.

"The strategy we have adopted is believed best in terms of user friendliness and accessibility as well as being cost effective and environmentally beneficial in terms of its alternate weekly basis.

"Southwold has nuances that need to be addressed in terms of quite small properties with lack of space and we will look at a number of options to enable such properties to contribute to the scheme."

He added the question of small properties with lack of space for the bins and holiday homes would have to be looked at.

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