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Protesters voice opposition at New Forest District Council wheelie bins meeting

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A SMALL group of protesters greeted councillors for the first of several key meetings which are set to rubberstamp plans for wheelie bins in the New Forest.

Eight objectors carrying a placard and pamphlets gathered at New Forest District Council's HQ in Lyndhurst which agreed to back the plans to replace the current sack collection system from 2024.

The ruling Conservative cabinet will next decide whether to sign off the scheme before it goes to a meeting of the full council on 11th July for a final vote.

Protesters against the changes attended a meeting of New Forest District Council
Protesters against the changes attended a meeting of New Forest District Council

Yesterday (Thursday) NFDC's environment and sustainability scrutiny panel heard how the changes would include alternate-week general-waste and recycling collections, plus a weekly food waste pick-up.

Protester Lewis Hibberd told the meeting: "NFDC’s plans to introduce wheelie bins will have many, many issues for residents regarding the storage of the containers at their properties.

"A major percentage will have to store the containers outside of their property – more than likely on the pavement, blocking safe passageway.

"Wheelie bins left out during the day, pre or post-collection while residents are at work, will create an easy target for crime as it will show the properties are vacant."

He said the consultation in 2000 was “a poorly advertised and conducted survey” and was “heavily weighed” in favour of the strategy.

Objector Ralph Kent added: "NFDC’s waste strategy will affect this region for decades. Let's not waste vast amounts of taxpayers' money and tonnes of virgin plastic on replicating a flawed system just because it exists elsewhere on other local Hampshire authorities."

The council’s service manager for waste and transport, Chris Noble, explained the new scheme would issue each home with seven-litre and 23-litre caddies for food waste, which would be collected weekly.

He said the idea was for residents to keep the smaller caddy in their kitchen, before transferring it to the larger one outside.

Mixed recycling and general waste would be collected on alternate weeks from 180-litre wheelie bins.

Residents would also be supplied with a separate 90-litre reusable sack for paper and card.

The council has outlined how it intends to change the way it operates its waste collection
The council has outlined how it intends to change the way it operates its waste collection

The council would continue to offer its chargeable fortnightly garden waste collection but this would be in a 240-litre wheelie bin instead of the current green sacks.

He added: “There are some situations where this service might not be appropriate. We will identify suitable and unsuitable properties as part of a property survey where we will look at where bins can be accommodated and where they can’t.

“We will also provide assisted collections to households that need them. That may be in the case of old age or a disability or any reason why the resident can’t get their container to the kerbside on collection day."

Cllr Allan Glass told the meeting he had shared a leaflet outlining the plans to members of the local Men’s Shed – which he said had caused much "consternation".

He said: "In the proposals it doesn’t mention we are going to make allowances for people who cannot house or handle a wheelie bin.

"There is no mention that you can avoid having wheelie bins if you live at a block of flats or in old people’s bungalows where there is nowhere to store it, and it’s causing a lot of concern. It’s badly written and doesn’t give the full facts."

Cllr Malcolm Wade said: "One of the biggest bugbears for me is there is no waste minimisation at all. There is nothing in these recommendations about it.

“Families create rubbish – it doesn’t just disappear if we give them a smaller bin. I’ve said it all along: if we minimise waste, we haven’t got to collect as much.

“Another thing that is missing here is that we need to publicise and educate the public in how to manage their waste in the new system.”

Members of the panel voted unanimously in favour of recommending the plans to cabinet. There were two abstentions.

The document will be scrutinised by cabinet on 6th July before a final decision is made by full council on 11th July.

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