Bin Spin

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Today has clearly ‘bin’ a rubbish news day. The Daily Mail are crusading to stop councils from moving to fortnightly collections. Outgoing leader of the LGA and Tory Peer Gideon Sandy Bruce-Lockhart has been defending fortnightly collections (and can I take a moment to reflect on the wonderful name that is “Doretta Cocks”?).

Meanwhile, in bloggerland, Ryan Cullen has been pointing out that moves to fortnightly collection can lead to improved hygiene, while Iain Dale has been moaning about those perfidious Lib Dems taking opportunistic policy positions from one council to the next on the issue.

Unfortunately, he does have a bit of a point reading Camden Lib Dems’ rather po-faced response to the issue:

“Labour run councils such as Reading, Corby and Barnsley have moved to bi-weekly collections and the Labour Party in inner city areas like Liverpool is campaigning for such a change. I challenge Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Cllr Alison McGovern to state that she would not bring in such plans in Southwark if they were in charge.”

“Our success in increasing recycling rates in Southwark has meant that there is less waste to be collected each week. But we are not proposing to wait until bins are full before we will collect them. We believe that will lead to more mess on our streets and will raise concerns about hygiene and vermin.”

Er, maybe that’s true, but pioneering Lib Dem councils like Eastleigh were leading the way years ago and have just been lionised on our last PEB on the environment.

There is certainly a case that fortnightly collections will suit some areas better than others. Inner London, in particular, has a bit of a vermin problem and thus councils should certainly look before they leap on this policy (although I really can’t see how a rat can climb into a wheelie bin unless it is provided with some pretty impressive abseiling equipment and has been taking anabolic steroids for six months). But Camden’s press release has completely over-egged the issue by implying it is an evil Labour policy when it certainly is not.

It’s fair enough that Camden Lib Dems have the right to adopt a policy that best suits Camden, but this press release is packed full of ammunition for our rival parties to lob at us in any local authority where fortnightly collections are being considered. By insinuating that Labour councils are all the same, they are implying that Lib Dem councils have to be also, and that we should all go along with what suits Camden. Thanks a bunch.

1 thought on “Bin Spin

  1. The trouble with fortnightly bin collections is that there is virtually no slack in the system. It works fine if everyone does as much recycling as they can, but then say if some foreign students turns up and they don’t know the drill, the wheels can come off quite rapidly. This happened on my patch last summer and it was revolting. Rubbish strewn everywhere plus maggots, basically because the dustmen were playing it by the book, and just leaving stuff behind that wasn’t properly bagged or whatever. I had to personally bag it all up and take it to the local tip in what was the most disgusting Sunday afternoon of my entire life. Then the next day I went to give the local waste disposal officer merry hell.

    In my view, it is irresposible to leave behind rubbish in the high heat of summer, which then obviously will have another two weeks to run. The rubbish should first be collected, and then the miscreants should be dealt with after the fact.

    It’s a very bad sign when one starts obsessing about rubbish!

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