Minister encouraging return to weekly collections

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Many of us live in areas where it is common practice to have your bins collected once a fortnight, and we’re used to being told it was a necessity due to spending cuts and that we should be recycling more. But is this really necessary?

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has pledged to see the return of the weekly bin collections for everyone across the UK. Under his assistance, a guidebook has been published by the Government suggesting tips to local authorities on more regular bin collections by refuse workers. Many councils made the switch from weekly to fortnightly collections, but not nearly enough have reverted back, despite the government offering to pick up the bill for the extra expense.

But Pickles says it really is simple to go back to weekly collections. By organising time more efficiently, more collections can be made in local areas, and less waste will be collected each week so there is not such a large influx with every collection.

This so called “bin bible” has sparked great debate within the UK, with many feeling that with the rising cost of council tax, they are receiving less and less from their councils. They feel they deserve a better service provided by their local authorities, especially when it comes to the collection of rubbish.

Fortnightly collections means that rubbish is sitting around longer, which many argue creates a haven for vermin such as rats to be more present. Maggots infest wheelie bins creating more and more problems for home-owners across the UK, simply because their rubbish is not being collected frequently enough. Complaints of the foul smell that builds due to lingering rubbish is also on the increase, making life unbearable for many.

Even the World Health Organisation have recommended that in a climate such as here in the United Kingdom, rubbish should be collected on a weekly basis to combat the issues that arise when rubbish is left for too long.

Although the fortnightly scheme was brought in to encourage recycling, which it successfully has, there will always be a need for general household waste to be collected. More frequent collections will be better for our health and reduce vermin in built up areas, proving that the argument is heavily stacked in favour of weekly collections.

Some councils appear to have the balance right. Weymouth and Portland collect household waste and recycling on alternate weeks, but food waste is picked up weekly. That way thy get the most use out of their collection fleet, and ensure that potentially unhealthy waste is picked up regularly. With a bit of planning, many other council areas can do the same.

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