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Public consultation deadline on New Forest wheelie bins waste plan pushed back again

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Residents now have until Sunday to have their say on the waste plan
Residents now have until Sunday to have their say on the waste plan

THE consultation on proposals for wheelie bins to be introduced in the New Forest has been extended for a second time.

Residents now have until Sunday to respond to the district council’s survey on its waste strategy, which also includes suggestions for alternate fortnightly collections of general rubbish and recycling.

As reported in the A&T, the deadline last Thursday was initially pushed back to Sunday 13th December when a technical problem meant people could not access the website. On Friday it was extended again by a week.

Cllr Alison Hoare, NFDC cabinet member for environment, explained: “I have been pleased to see a great deal of useful discussion in our public engagement around the proposals put forward in our draft waste strategy.

“More than 3,000 people have commented online, and we are still receiving many comments through our website and the post. It is clear that local people care for their environment and would like to minimise our waste.

“We are keen to hear from local people how our proposals will work for them so that we can develop a service that works best for the local area, and for our environment.”

She added: "I am extending the deadline for comments further, until Sunday 20th December, to give more people an opportunity to read the information and tell us their views.”

NFDC’s ruling Conservative administration came under fire from Liberal Democrat opposition members at a recent council meeting when it was revealed 3% of New Forest residents had responded to the consultation.

Although Cllr Hoare has insisted wheelie bins are not a “done deal”, the council argues change is needed to the current sack collection system to improve local recycling rates which are among the lowest in the country.

About 90% of homes are forecast to get a wheelie bin if introduced, but critics say they are ugly additions to the street, cumbersome for older residents to handle and unsuitable for rural areas.

Resident engagement packs are available from newforest.gov.uk/wastestrategy, local information centres and by calling 023 8028 5000.

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