Bin collection change could be a better way to work

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BLAISE TAPP: Even in the 21st century, you can't beat old-fashioned playtime

We understand why some people might be upset to learn changes have been made to the way bins are collected in Portsmouth.

When you've been doing something for a long time, and can't see any problems with the way things have been done, it might seem odd to hear alterations need to be made.

In that context it's not hard to see why Philip Chadwick is frustrated. He's put his rubbish out the same way for 17 years. To add insult to injury, in his case the new ruling means he will have to move his rubbish just one metre further in order to make sure it is collected.

But that is not to say there are not advantages to the city council's decision to make the change.

Just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean there is not room for improvement.

The council wants rubbish to be put out at the front of properties in future, rather than round the back. That will require residents making some adjustments but will save the council up to 100,000 – and the binmen's time. In these difficult days of council cuts, the change certainly seems to make economic sense and speeding up collection times is also welcome.

What is not acceptable however is any petty behaviour while residents get used to the new guidelines. And common sense must be used when deciding what is within 'easy reach'.

Janice Jenkins was right to be cross when a collector walked past her bin to deliver a note telling her it wouldn't be emptied as it was in the wrong place. Much better to collect it anyway, while making sure she was aware of the right place. The council was right to apologise for that and must also make sure people who genuinely can't put their rubbish out at the front are not penalised.

It's traditional for residents to show their support for binmen at this time of year by giving them small gifts, or some loose change.

We certainly hope the council's decision will not be taken out on the front-line binmen themselves.

They are out working in all weathers and should not be penalised.