Council set to debate costs of going back to weekly bin collections

BIN CHANGES Fareham Borough Council's wheelie bins, recycling with a blue top and ordinary refuse with a green top
BIN CHANGES Fareham Borough Council's wheelie bins, recycling with a blue top and ordinary refuse with a green top
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A REPORT into the cost of changing back to weekly refuse collections will be discussed by councillors.

The streetscene panel at Fareham Borough Council commissioned the report to see if it was providing the right service.

BIN CHANGES Cllr Leslie Keeble

BIN CHANGES Cllr Leslie Keeble

Fareham changed to fortnightly refuse collection in September 2005, which increased recycling figures from 28 per cent in 2005/06 to 38 per cent in 2012/13. The service collects rubbish from 48,000 homes and cost £1.8m last year.

To return to a weekly collection would cost £638,000 in initial outlay to buy four trucks and publicise the change, with a further £369,000 in annual running costs.

The report also says that only three complaints have been made to the council about the fortnightly service in the past three years.

Executive member of streetscene Cllr Leslie Keeble said: ‘We did have problems in the first year, but a lot of it was down to poor housekeeping, such as not wrapping used nappies properly which caused maggots. These problems were rectified with help and advice from the council.’

Fareham has an alternate weekly refuse and recycling collection, and it provides wheelie bins for both.

Cllr Keeble said: ‘It was the right decision to go to alternate collections as it enabled us to give our residents green bins for free. In Portsmouth, for example, they just get a green bin for recycling, meaning sacks are placed out on to the street. Animals such as foxes and rats get into them and the rubbish is strewn across the street.’

The report also looks at the running costs of a weekly service, which would see 12 jobs created.

Cllr Keeble said: ‘It is not possible to do the extra collections just in the summer as it would mean that 12 people would lose their jobs and there would be four vehicles sitting there empty, depreciating in value.’

Cllr Brian Bayford, who used to hold the portfolio for streetscene, agreed the change was the right one.

Cllr Bayford said: ‘We were able to improve our recycling rates as people had to be sensible with their waste. That has helped us become one of the best for recycling rates in the county.’

Council leader Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘Alternate collections have worked perfectly well. It irritates councils when communities secretary Eric Pickles says that it’s every man’s right to have his bin emptied weekly.

‘We have a very high level of recycling and we have three collections every two weeks, when you count the green waste collection which is free.

‘Our residents’ survey showed very high levels of satisfaction when it comes to waste collection. There is no reason at all to make any changes.’

The report will be discussed at a council meeting at 6pm on Thursday, January 9.