Council defends blue bin policy

THE authority responsible for controversial blue recycling bins in Southwold has answered its critics.Waveney District Council has written a letter to Southwold Town Council addressing concerns by residents and town councillors who have rubbished its multi-bin recycling initiative.

THE authority responsible for controversial blue recycling bins in Southwold has answered its critics.

Waveney District Council has written a letter to Southwold Town Council addressing concerns by residents and town councillors who have rubbished its multi-bin recycling initiative.

The new brightly coloured wheelie bins, earmarked for plastic, paper, metal and cardboard, will soon be followed by green ones for fruit, grass cuttings, plants and leaves, with any other waste going into existing black bins, which will be collected fortnightly from June 7.

Letters from residents in Southwold and second homeowners in London and Essex have criticised the colour of the bins. They have highlighted that the bins are an eyesore, bemoaned the paucity of storage space in back gardens and alleyways, the fortnightly collection of the black bins holding "smelly" waste and how confusing the new system will be for holidaymakers visiting the resort.


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Martin Plane, the district council's portfolio manager for (performance) built environment, said the council could not budge on the issue because the Government and European legislation had set recycling targets, but was keen to point out there were alternatives available.

"Council strategy is to move to alternate week collections for a number of reasons around sustainability and economic efficiency", he said.

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"Environmental health issues ought not to be a problem if householders follow basic principles of hygiene, in particular double wrapping waste that will be prone to smells such as food and nappies before placing them in the bin.

"Properties divided into flats or serviced by narrow back alleys will be offered a range of options including smaller bins, sharing with neighbours, opting out of the compost bin, or coloured bags."

He added the council would be offering holiday-home letting businesses the chance to pay for a weekly refuse collection.

"These (alternatives) have been taken up in other areas and out of the approximate 1,000 properties included (in the latest drive) in Southwold, only a small proportion of house holds have chosen to opt out of the scheme which shows people are prepared to give the scheme a try and make compromises to meet the overwhelming benefits of the scheme."

Town mayor, Geraldine Bryant, at a town council meeting this week, thought the town needed to work together to adjust to the scheme.

"We cannot argue over the colour of the bins as it's a colour used nationwide and even Germany has them - we've got to accept the blue."

Councillor Elizabeth Betts said she had been amazed at how little waste now goes into her black bin now that her Marlborough road home had received a blue bin and had asked Waveney to send her a smaller black bin.

Homes in the town that have not received blue bins will have them delivered in the council's next phrase in October.

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