The Manchester Evening News reports:
“Oldham council has become the latest in Greater Manchester to introduce three-weekly black bin collections – in a bid to save £1.5m a year.”
Those of us who regard weekly bin collections as a basic local service are already dismayed by the idea of collection only being fortnightly. Yet many people in the country can only dream of the luxury of having their rubbish cleared away as frequently as every two weeks.
The report adds:
“Bury became the first council in the country to reduce black bin collections to once every three weeks in 2014.
Rochdale followed suit, with Salford currently running a pilot scheme across half of the city.”
North Devon is considering doing the same.
Fife is proposing monthly bin collections. So is Conwy in Wales.
Labour-run Dudley Council is proposing switching from weekly to fortnightly bin collections. Cllr Patrick Harley, the Leader of the Conservative opposition, has attacked the plan – noting that Labour didn’t mention it at last month’s elections.
On the brighter side, other councils are taking a different course of offering incentives to increase recycling.
This is a basic service and Conservative councillors should champion weekly bin collections. But central Government should also reward councils that adopt the right approach. Sir Eric Pickles fought hard on this – providing the encouragement. He helped to stem the decline in weekly collections but since his departure from office the situation appears to be deteriorating more rapidly.
Of course it is right to discourage landfill but forcing people to turn their front gardens into rubbish dumps is the wrong way to promote recycling. Nor is recycling the only environmentally beneficial option. More could be done to encourage composting. Technological change has made incineration increasingly eco friendly.
Our departure from the EU should allow us to be more innovative and flexible. Bullying directives and top down targets are not the way to a greener and more pleasant land.