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Fortnightly collections to be binned

July 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm

The new coalition government would like to see local authorities making a return to weekly bin collections across the UK.

Communities secretary, Eric Pickles, wants to scrap fortnightly bin collections claiming that they are "unpopular and unhygienic". He has written to the Audit Commission asking it to reverse its policy.

Fortnightly bin collections were introduced so local councils could save money and to encourage households to recycle more waste, in order to reduce landfill.

But in a letter to the Commission Mr Pickles said he was concerned that some councils were being "marked down" for not adopting fortnightly collections.

He asked the independent watchdog to repeal guidance and "stop giving perverse incentives to local authorities to cut the frequency of rubbish collections."

However, the Commission says that it has "no power" to issue binding guidance to local authorities on rubbish collections and has "never issued" such guidance.

According to the Commission it has encouraged local authorities to review bin collections but said that it was up to locally elected members to decide their own policies including refuse collecting.

The new government wants to work with local councils to freeze council tax and help improve the frequency of refuse collecting.

There have been concerns about the health impact of fortnightly collections, with flies and maggots being attracted to rubbish that has been left to accumulate over a two week period.

But a recent study conducted by the government funded website www.wrap.org.uk looked at the health implications on fortnightly collections. It revealed that there was no evidence linking the frequency of waste collecting and any health impact on householders or refuse collectors.

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