Families rubbish communication over bins switch
CONCERNS have been raised over the introduction of new fortnightly bin collections, with large families facing the impact of provision for general waste being halved overnight.
City residents have criticised a lack of information surrounding the major shift, set to start in just four weeks’ time.
Weekly collections of green and brown bins will be axed from September to save cash and encourage more people to recycle.
Environment chiefs hope fewer general waste uplifts will lead to families making greater use of food waste bins and separating packaging into the coloured recycling boxes.
Concerns have been voiced over the lack of provision for larger families and about waste which cannot be recycled lying for two weeks at a time.
Mark McInnes, councillor for the Meadows and Morningside, said he had been contacted by many residents in south Edinburgh.
He said: “Before the election I ran a survey in my ward and the people who were concerned about this were inevitably larger families who don’t want to be left with hygiene problems – old nappies etc.
“There were a lot of objections. I don’t think many residents will have been made aware of what’s going to happen in a month’s time.”
Schemes by other local authorities have been met with mixed results. Fife has moved from a recycling rate of two to 45.3 per cent in recent years, partly down to the switch. However, in East Dunbartonshire, fortnightly collections were axed last year after widespread complaints from residents.
Cllr McInnes said: “With four or five people families there’s going to be a lot of waste, even with the best recycling model imaginable.
“I’m concerned at this point whether or not the department is ready for this level of change. The council needs to do a lot more to make sure people are made aware of the situation.”
Fellow councillor Lindsay Paterson, who represents the Almond ward, said: “I have quite a lot of people contacting me now who are quite concerned about the change to a fortnightly collections.
“If you’re a small household and you do a lot of recycling then it won’t be a problem, but if you’re a larger family or an elderly person, for example, it might not be handled just by giving people a bigger bin.”
“If it is a case of health and safety, that waste does need collecting more than every two weeks, with babies’ nappies and human waste and so on. We’ll have to look at that.”
The council was quick to highlight that 70 per cent of all general household waste can be recycled using the range of ten receptacles available.
Environment leader, Cllr Lesley Hinds, said: “We do understand this will be a challenge for some residents and will be getting in touch with them directly before the changes are introduced. We also have recycling officers available to offer assistance and discuss any concerns residents may have.
“We can, of course, provide larger waste bins and boxes to those with larger families or with other special requirements.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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