Council Responds to Concerns Over Bin Collection Changes

Central Bedfordshire Council is recommending that its Executive committee approves changes to bin collections to increase recycling; provide a consistent service across the region, and deliver the best value to council taxpayers. The current bin contracts are coming to an end in 2019, so the council has recently been consulting on possible options.

15,000 responses

Following that consultation, which received over 15,000 responses, the council has listened to residents and is suggesting the introduction of weekly food waste collections for everyone; where possible, a choice of wheelie bin or reusable bags for fortnightly garden waste collections; and potential kerbside glass collections for all.

Not Charging for Garden Waste

The council has discarded the idea of charging for garden waste, as this was the least favoured option for residents. After listening to residents’ concerns about three-weekly black bin collections, the council is not proposing to introduce those straight away but will look to the long-term when residents have been supported to recycle as much as possible, so reducing waste in their black bin.

Separate Food Waste and Separate Glass Collection

Speaking about the recommendations, Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The consultation feedback has helped us set out a clear strategy for the future.

“Nearly everyone (94%) said it’s important to help people recycle as much as possible. The majority of residents were supportive of food waste collections and separate glass collections. We will be introducing these as soon as we can when the new contract is in place towards the end of next year.

Black Bin Fortnightly Collections For Now

Councillor Budge Wells, “We also consulted on two other options; charging for garden waste collection, and moving to three-weekly black bin collection. Charging for the garden waste collection was the least popular option, so we are not introducing this. Instead, we’ll be continuing to provide a free fortnightly collection as we do now. Residents’ feedback showed they wanted a choice of container for their garden waste though so we will be offering the option of a wheelie bin or two reusable bags for garden waste across the whole area."

Three Weekly Bin Collections Later

Councillor Budge Wells,“In terms of three-weekly black bin collections, we know that residents had some concerns about how they would manage. We’ve listened to this, and we won’t be introducing three-weekly collections immediately. We will work with residents to help them recycle as much as possible, and the new services should help with this. This will, of course, reduce the amount of waste going into residents’ black bins. That means we can move to three-weekly collections more easily, which will reduce the cost of the service and therefore make the most of taxpayers’ money.”

For food waste collection, residents would be supplied with a lockable external food waste caddy and a smaller version to use in the kitchen, so that food waste won’t be put in domestic waste (black) bins. The council will supply bags to line the kitchen caddy for hygiene and to make it easier to transfer the contents into the larger external food waste caddy for kerbside collection, which will be collected every week.