Government waste collection plans to cause costly ‘bin chaos’

The District Councils’ Network has warned that households may need up to seven bins as part of the biggest shake up of rubbish collections in years which will create ‘chaos and confusion’.

The government wants to standardise kerbside waste collections, so they are the same across England by 2023/24. Councils are warning that this ‘poorly thought out’ plan could see four separate bins required for dry recyclables – glass, metal, plastic, paper and card – as well as bins for garden waste, food waste and non-recyclables.

The DCN is concerned that towns and cities where space is limited will struggle to accommodate the extra bins, with driveways potentially clogged up and pavements blocked. Additionally, the amount of extra collection vehicles on the road to service all these new waste types will also likely cause disruption in already busy towns and cities.

Council leaders estimate that the expensive proposals will cost £680 million every year and reduce many existing bins into unnecessary waste themselves.

The DCN is calling for local councils and communities to be able to decide how they want their waste collected. It also argues that plans for universally free garden waste collections should be scrapped, as it means households without gardens are unfairly footing the bill through their council tax for those who do. Instead there should be a focus on minimising this type of waste through home composting.

Dan Humphreys, DCN’s lead member for enhancing quality of life, said: “These proposals are poorly thought out and will create costly chaos and confusion up and down the country. Rather than standardise waste collections, local communities should be able to decide what works best for them.

“What works for residents in villages and rural areas won’t work for people living in flats in a busy town or city. It is also wrong that those without gardens are contributing towards the costs of garden waste collections for those who do.”

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