Battle of the bins: Defra stats show fortnightly refuse collections INCREASES recycling

 

The battle of the bins has broken out again after analysis of Government figures showed that collecting refuse fortnightly - a policy considered by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to be rubbish – increases recycling.

Analysis of official figures from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed that in the past two years nine of the 10 councils with the biggest improvements in recycling pick up non-recyclable waste fortnightly.

Responding to the figures, councils said that residents had coped easily with binmen visiting every two weeks - while Friends of the Earth likened those demanding weekly visits to climate-change deniers.

However the Department for Communities and Local Government, whose Secretary of State, Mr Pickles, has described weekly collections as a “basic right”, stuck to its policy. Reducing the frequency of collections, it said, was “lazy and unnecessary”.

Mr Pickles has threatened to “look closely” at the funding of local authorities which refuse restore weekly rounds.

At present around half of councils collect ordinary refuse fortnightly, with many of those collecting recycling and or food waste in the alternate weeks.

Some households are vigorously opposed to fortnightly collections, deeming them to be unhygienic and inconvenient and after coming to power two years ago, Mr Pickles intended to force all councils in England to restore them. However he scrapped the idea last June after a review found it would be too expensive.

Instead, in November he set up a £250m fund to incentivise the councils to fall into line, saying: “Weekly bin collections are one of the most visible frontline services and there is no plausible reason why councils shouldn't deliver them to hard-working residents.”

He added. “We have demolished the Labour myth that fortnightly bin collections were necessary to save money or increase recycling.”

The latest figures, for England in 2010/11 and 2011/12, show that the most improved council, Runnymede Borough Council in Surrey, almost doubled its recycling of total waste, from 29 per cent to 47 per cent, after moving to fortnightly collections.

Cheltenham Borough Council similarly boosted its recycling by a third from under 35 per cent to 46 per cent. Roger Whyborn, its cabinet member for sustainability, said: ”The increase in recycling is undoubtedly because from April 2011… introducing weekly food waste, combined with only collecting residual waste fortnightly, caused a major step change in people's recycling habits.“

An analysis of figures by the government's waste quango, Wrap, two years ago estimated that reintroducing weekly collections across all 170 local authorities in England would lower recycling and cost taxpayers £530m.

Responding to the latest figures, Julian Kirby, waste and resources campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s obvious that fortnightly collections boost recycling and save councils money. The sad thing about this is that it’s like having to argue about people causing climate change.”

He called for fortnightly collections of non-recyclable rubbish and weekly collections of food waste.

Rejecting that, the Communities Minister, Brandon Lewis, said: “Research shows that residents overwhelmingly prefer a regular and frequent rubbish collection, but under the previous administration the numbers of weekly services across the country halved while council tax doubled.

“Cutting the frequency of collections is a lazy and unnecessary move. It is possible to increase recycling and still have comprehensive weekly service, through better procurement, more joint working and using incentive schemes.”

Labour’s show environment minister Tom Harris said that as well as fighting Defra, Mr Pickles was undermining the Conservatives’ localism agenda. “Ultimately this is a decision for local authorities rather than central government,” he said.

Defra declined to comment.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 3 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering