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Accept wheelie bins or risk losing waste collection, NFDC waste chief warns households

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NEW Forest District Council has warned residents who refuse wheelie bins that their rubbish might not be collected, under its proposed new waste scheme.

The caution was issued ahead of a meeting to pave the way for rolling out the new system which, if approved by the full council next month, could start in 2024.

At a media briefing there was a promise there would first be a comprehensive survey to determine which households could be exempt or need help, expected to be about one in 10 across the district.

NFDC say it will help residents who can't manage wheelie bins
NFDC say it will help residents who can't manage wheelie bins

But NFDC's service manager for waste and transport, Chris Noble, also told the A&T: "Ultimately, as the waste collection authority, we do have the authority to stipulate which containers we would like residents to use, in the legislation, and that is the basis that we would run the service, so we would have to bear that in mind.

"We would expect, where suitable, for people to use that container if they wanted us to collect their waste.

"But clearly we would want to work with residents so we don't end up in that situation.

"Ultimately we want everyone to participate as we know we will get the higher rates of recycling and reduce the carbon impact, which are our key objectives."

NFDC’s waste strategy includes replacing the current sack system with alternate-week general waste and recycling collections, plus a weekly food waste pick-up.

Mr Noble said the new containers would cost £4.5m to buy, but he added: "The key thing here, however, is that some of those collection containers will last up to 20 years, so if you spread out that initial cost across the life of the containers it is about £250,000 per year.

"By way of comparison, our annual cost for purchasing clear and black sacks for the current collection system was £388,000, and that does not include delivery costs."

The council would also need to spend £1.1m in set-up costs, including training extra staff.

He said some of the council's vehicles could be adapted for the new service and some were already suitable.

Cllr Steve Davies, the Conservative cabinet member for environment and coastal services, said it was important that residents knew what was happening and when, and promised a "detailed communication plan" for residents.

Cllr Davies said: "We must reduce carbon emissions and waste, and we want to offer better recycling opportunities – in quantity and range, in particular.

"To help residents we will be performing a comprehensive survey to identify which properties are not suitable for wheelie bins. We expect that to be about 10%, which is around 8,000 dwellings.

"We'll certainly continue to offer help to those who need it – we already have a lot of assisted collections with the demographic of the area – and we will even supply larger bins to larger families, if that is requested."

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