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Village rejects New Forest plans for wheelie bins

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The New Forest District Council has proposed wheelie bins to help solve its recycling problems
The New Forest District Council has proposed wheelie bins to help solve its recycling problems

PROPOSALS for wheelie bins across the New Forest have been rejected by Copythorne Parish Council as members attacked “misleading” information about the costs of the scheme.

New Forest District Council recently launched a consultation on plans also including rubbish and recycling collection on alternate weeks and a separate weekly food waste pickup.

Currently, residents use black and clear plastic sacks for their rubbish and recycling, which is picked up weekly, and a box for a once every four week glass collection. There is currently no service for food waste.

Discussing the move at the latest Copythorne Parish Council meeting, members said

NFDC’s report detailing the overhaul lacked clarity and have sent a long list of questions to officers.

They pointed out the introduction of a food waste collection would be an additional cost, despite claims by NFDC that the new system would be “cost and carbon efficient”.

“Vehicle types and the various containers would have to be decided upon and, presumably, increase costs,” stated Cllr Steve Herra, vice-chair of the parish council, in his report to fellow members.

“Food waste would be sent for anaerobic digestion but we have no suitable sites within the county. The optimum site would be a farm where the farmer would use the fertiliser on his land – again there are no costings for this.”

The parish council also questioned what residents were expected to do if their waste exceeded the capacity of their wheelie bin, and alleged NFDC’s communication around recycling had been “ineffective”.

Footpaths in the village were very narrow, the council said, and bins lined up along them could pose a danger to parents with pushchairs and wheelchair users.

“We were told 90% of councils use wheelie bins, which means [many other] councils do not,” said Cllr Herra. “What are their recycling figures like compared to those other 90%? And what other factors were taken into account in not adopting the wheelie bins?”

The council also warned that bins may be used to “spy” on residents, citing examples of councils including Bristol microchipping containers in order to “monitor how much rubbish was being thrown away”.

Cllr Herra concluded: “With there being so many unanswered questions and misleading information regarding the costings, the report has come up short in a number of areas and more work and further clarification is required.”

Members agreed to send a list of 10 questions, including asking if residents can “opt out” of the system.

NFDC says wheelie bins would apply to about 90% of homes in the New Forest and help drive down waste generation and increase recycling, as well as prevent the mess often caused by split sacks which are attacked by birds and animals.

The four-week public consultation period by NFDC, which started on 12th November, will end on 10th December.

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