Twin-bin scheme to be extended

By John HowardTHOUSANDS more residents are to have their bins emptied once every two weeks as part of a controversial new refuse collection system.Residents have two bins - one for recyclables such as paper, card, plastic and tin cans, and one for general rubbish - and they are collected on alternate weeks.

By John Howard

THOUSANDS more residents are to have their bins emptied once every two weeks as part of a controversial new refuse collection system.

Residents have two bins - one for recyclables such as paper, card, plastic and tin cans, and one for general rubbish - and they are collected on alternate weeks.

Mid Suffolk District Council currently operates the “twin bin” system at 12,000 homes, including in Eye, Thurston, Debenham, Elmswell, Haughley and Claydon.


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Now it is to extend the scheme to up to another 7,000 properties, most probably in the Stowmarket and Needham Market areas, from April, followed by the rest of the district, a further 18,000 homes, from April to October 2005.

It has carried out a survey of residents taking part in the first pilot stage and found although more than 470 people were dissatisfied, about 3,800 of those who returned their questionnaires were content with the scheme.

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Paul Lewis, the council's waste and environmental co-ordinator, said: “We have had one of the hottest summers since 1976 and we have still had very, very few problems.”

John Prigg, a Haughley parish councillor, said: “A fortnightly refuse collection is a problem. Rotten food, however well you bag it, attracts flies and maggots. However there is very little household refuse, we are recycling so much, and it has not been a lot of trouble since the hot weather.”

Babergh District Council has launched its twin bin scheme in an effort to improve recycling figures, but the new initiative means many residents now only have their domestic waste collected once a fortnight.

It has received letters of complaints from residents concerned over the fortnightly collections, which they felt were a health hazard.

HOW BINS ARE COLLECTED ELSEWHERE IN SUFFOLK

St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District Councils - 68,000 blue bins will be distributed from October to March for dry recyclables. There are brown bins for kitchen and compost waste and black bins for normal waste. Collections are made on alternate weeks.

Ipswich Borough Council - One normal bin collected weekly, while half the town also has compost collections fortnightly. The council is finalising a new pilot scheme, the details of which have not yet been released.

Suffolk Coastal District Council - Weekly refuge collection, but some areas have brown bins for garden waste, collected at the same time, and some homes also have a container for newspapers and magazines, collected fortnightly.

Babergh District Council - So far 10,000 households in Sudbury, Hadleigh, Great Cornard and some surrounding villages have been incorporated into a twin bin scheme. By the end of October the second phase of the scheme will cover another 8,000 homes within the district. The scheme will be rolled out to cover the entire 36,000 households in the district in March and April.

Waveney District Council - 12,000 homes have a normal black household waste bin collected one week, with a blue bin for dry recyclables, excluding glass, and a green one for compost collected another week. This six-month trial in areas, including north Lowestoft, could then be extended. The rest of the district has a weekly collection.

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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