Portsmouth’s new wheelie bin scheme faces criticism from residents 

Black bin collections
Black bin collections
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FRUSTRATED residents have criticised a new council-led wheelie bin revamp for failing to fully address the area's woeful recycling rate.

Portsmouth City Council yesterday rolled its new bin scheme across the island, following a two-month trial in parts of the city.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for the environment at Portsmouth City Council.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for the environment at Portsmouth City Council.

About 50,000 of the new black bins have been introduced. The council said this is part of its plan to cut down the amount of household waste dumped in the city and up recycling rates.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, the city’s environment boss, said when the scheme was trialled, the results were promising.

However, not all residents are happy with some claiming their bins were being clogged with potentially recyclable plastics due to Portsmouth’s stringent rules on what items can and can’t be recycled.

Kirsty Crackle, of Crofton Road, Milton, said was among those left frustrated.

The 41-year-old, who was part of the trial scheme, said: ‘The bin itself is not too bad a size. However, the difficulty is amount of waste we can put in our recycling is really very limited.

‘We can't put yogurt pits,food containers – most plastics we use are still having to go into the rubbish and that takes up space very quickly.

‘We want to recycle more, we want a better ability to recycle more – we all want to reduce the amount of waste we’re using, nobody has any issues with that.

‘And the black bin itself is perfectly good enough – if we were able to recycle more.

‘It seems, as it always is in Portsmouth, that this was done back to front.’

Under the new set up, all households can only leave out either one wheelie bin or three bin bags for general waste.

During trials, the change saw a 20 per cent reduction in the level of waste being dumped every week.

Cllr Dave Ashmore admitted Portsmouth’s recycling rates still needed to improve.

But he was convinced the new permanent waste collection arrangement would help to improve this.

Speaking on BBC Radio Solent, he Portsmouth used to be a recycling leader but that it had ‘fallen down’ in the national rankings.

He added: ‘I empathise entirely with what Kirsty is saying about the lack of recycling – we are quite restricted in Portsmouth in terms of what we can recycle and what we can’t recycle.

‘There's no point denying it, we are one of the lowest-performing recycling authorities now in the country which is a shame.

‘This is one of the reasons we have introduced this new policy in trial areas like Milton, like Fratton, Cosham – we saw the recycliing rate go up and the household waste go down.

‘So this is something we can do city-wide that we think can help to shift that balance.’

Although there have been changes, the city council has committed to keeping weekly bin collection and not cut them to every two weeks, like other authorities have done elsewhere.

Items that can be recycled in Portsmouth include: paper, cardboard, plastic bottles with their lids removed, food and drink cans and aerosol cans.

Banned items for recycling bins range from plastic packaging such as food trays, yoghurt pots or margarine tubs and cartons for juice or soya milk, to glass, carrier bags, aluminium foil and polystyrene.

Cartons such as juice or soya milk cartons