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New Forest residents urged to have a say on wheelie bin waste plans



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Will this be a common sight around the New Forest?
Will this be a common sight around the New Forest?

NEW Forest residents have been urged to make their views known on plans to overhaul waste collection which could involve 90% of homes in the district receiving wheelie bins.

The district council plans, which propose having rubbish and recycling collections on alternate weeks and a separate weekly food waste pickup, went out for a four-week public consultation today (Thursday).

Garden waste could also be stored in wheelie bins and collected fortnightly for a fee, according to the plans.

They have been drawn up as the Conservative-controlled council has acknowledged its recycling rates are poor, compared with other authorities.

Cllr Alison Hoare, NFDC’s environment boss, said: “We want to know what barriers residents think there are to introducing this new service so that we can shape the system to work well for the area.

“We understand that change can be difficult so we want to hear how we can get this right for our communities.

“And we want to hear from people who are keen to see recycling rates increase and have comments that are in support of change.”

She added: “Although the ‘headline’ is wheelie bins, there’s so much more to it. This could never be a simple yes or no to wheelie bins – the bins are just the how, but the why is the important part. Our overall aim in this is to care for the environment.”

Currently, residents use black and clear plastic sacks for rubbish and recycling, which is picked up weekly, plus reusable bags for garden waste, and a box for a four-week glass collection. There is currently no food waste service.

Members on NFDC’s environment panel have raised concerns over properties with little space for the storage of bins, but a report said research estimated 92% of homes would be suitable.

Alternative systems would be provided for households deemed unsuitable, although these have not been specified.

The proposals were described at the weekend as a “done deal” by Cllr David Harrison, leader of the NFDC’s Liberal Democrat opposition group, who urged the consultation to be made more extensive to reach more people.

He said of the Tory administration: “They are giving every indication that there won't be a choice in the matter. The wheelie bins are going to be imposed whether local people think it is a good thing or not.

“There will be a consultation, which starts on Thursday 12th November, but I don't expect it will be asking people whether they want them or not, more to do with the way the new waste collection service is to operate.

“This raises the possibility of thousands of people being unaware of what’s going to happen. I am calling upon the Conservatives to think again about informing people, both about the proposed changes and the consultation.”

The consultation follows a draft waste and recycling strategy being approved by the council’s Conservative cabinet – which stressed the plans needed to be scrutinised by the public before more detail is added.

Cllr Hoare said: “After a lot of research and project planning, including visiting other places to see what works well, we are now proposing what we have evaluated to be the best way to collect waste and recycling for the New Forest.

“Our role of taking away the rubbish is just one part of the jigsaw. Everyone – individuals, households, manufacturers, retailers – needs to play their part in reducing, reusing, and recycling, and I urge anyone that cares about the environment to read what we are working on so they are then able to give us their informed comments, good and bad.”

The deadline for comments is on 10th December. Changes to the waste and recycling collection service are expected no earlier than 2022. Visit www.newforest.gov.uk/wastestrategy



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