Colchester: �50k cash injection for waste scheme
COLCHESTER has won a �45,000 grant towards its food waste collection scheme.
The money will be spent on conducting a full consultation with 7,000 residents who have been taking part in a year-long trial to help determine the future of all waste collection services.
The news comes amidst a controversial debate over whether current weekly bin collections should continue in the future.
There are fears weekly collections would be scrapped in favour of fortnightly collections if a separate �1.4million Government funding bid to roll out the food waste scheme fails.
Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, announced a �250million pot of cash for local authorities to maintain regular bin collections which he described as a “basic right”.
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Under the terms of the bid, councils have to keep weekly collections for five years but if they miss out they are under no obligation to.
However, half of all councils in England have already scrapped weekly collections in favour of a fortnightly system because more people are recycling.
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Colchester Borough councillor responsible for waste services, Martin Hunt, said he welcomed the latest cash injection but questioned whether weekly collections would always be necessary.
“I am delighted Colchester has secured funding from Defra to help us further support the food waste collection trial,” he said.
“We are committed to increasing recycling across the borough to reach our target of 43% for 2012/13 and even more in future while at the same time reducing rubbish sent to landfill.
“Obviously if we get the additional Government money then weekly collections will stay but I do question this funding scheme if so many councils are happy with fortnightly collections.
“But if that’s what we have to do to get the money then so be it. If we don’t get the money I will be recommending to keep weekly collections for at least a year.
“It’s very important we listen to the feedback we will be getting from people who have taken part in our trial.”
As part of the trial, residents were given boxes for food waste and black bins were collected every week for six months and fortnightly for the remainder of the time.
Information about the trial and advice on recycling more is available at www.colchester.gov.uk/recycling, by calling 01206 282700 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org