‘Different but not worse’ – residents to face new recycling regime

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Bournemouth Town Hall, HQ for BCP Council

CHANGES to refuse collections planned for next year will mean Christchurch residents will be able to recycle cartons and tin foil for the first time.

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Despite concerns the town was getting a “worse deal” than Bournemouth and Poole, BCP Council’s cabinet approved plans to bring the town’s service in line with its neighbours, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Current proposals would also see glass no longer collected separately and included in the main recycling bin.

As part of arrangements for local government reorganisation in the county, it was agreed that Dorset Council would continue to oversee bin collections in Christchurch for the first year of its existence.

Ahead of BCP Council taking on the service in April, it has put together interim arrangements for the town while it carries out a wider review for the whole conurbation.

Last year, £1.2m was set aside by the shadow authority for the purchase of new bin lorries in preparation for the change.

And as part of arrangements approved by the cabinet, glass would no longer be collected separately – a move, it said, which would save £342,000 a year.

Speaking at the meeting, the cabinet member for environment, Cllr Felicity Rice, said she originally had reservations about the change.

“Initially I was concerned that not separating glass was a step backwards for the council,” she said.

“But there have been significant improvements in this area and you end up with a similar quality of material after the mixed recycling process now.”

She said improved technology now meant there was little difference in recycling rates between separate and mixed collections.

According to a report, the planned change would also allow the collection of tin foil and Tetra Pak cartons, which people in the Christchurch area cannot currently recycle.

Cabinet member for health, and Christchurch mayor, Cllr Lesley Dedman, welcomed the planned approach.

“There’s been a little bit of concern in Christchurch that the service will be different,” she said.

“It will be different, but it won’t be worse – we will now be able to put glass in the main recycling bin and we will be able to recycle foil which we can’t at the moment.”

Councillors unanimously approved the planned changes to the collections in the town and for work to begin on a strategic review of waste services across the conurbation.

Changes to garden waste collection costs across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have also been approved.

Christchurch residents are currently charged £50.50 to be included in the service, with those in the other two towns having to pay £43. However, under the new scheme, the charges will be unified at £46.

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