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Fly-tipping fears over the changes to bin collections

Fly-tipping fears over the changes to bin collections

Published by Emma Carton at 1:55pm 8th November 2019. (Updated at 2:03pm 8th November 2019)

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

Cornwall Council's Cabinet could be put under pressure to take rubbish and recycling collection services back in-house after failing to find a new operator.

It was revealed this week that Cornwall households could have their black bag waste and recycling both collected fortnightly under a new service starting in 2021.

The council had originally planned for the next operator of the contract to offer a weekly recycling collection and fortnightly black bag collection.

It was hoped that by doing this the council could improve recycling rates in Cornwall which are among some of the lowest in the country.

However it was unable to find an operator who could provide the service within the council’s budget so last month council leader Julian German was forced to amend the specifications of the contract to encourage more affordable bids.

The current contract is due to expire in April 2020 but the council has secured a six-month extension to allow it to finalise the new contract.

Under the new plans rubbish and recyclables would be collected fortnightly and food waste would be collected weekly. 

Households will also be provided with a single wheelie bin for general rubbish and caddies for food waste. The existing bags and box for recycling would continue to be used.

The council also recently agreed to spend £62 million on a fleet of vehicles to use for the new service - a factor which has fuelled talk of the council taking the service in-house.

However councillors are also concerned with how the amended plans will work in Cornwall and fit with the council's declaration of a climate emergency.

Conservative group leader Linda Taylor said: "I am very concerned about this – where will people store their waste? 

This is especially a problem in my area of St Ives - many homes there have their front door open onto the pavements outside, they don't have anywhere to store rubbish and recycling.

"The decision about removing recycling banks is really wrong - how will that encourage recycling? It's a very, very bad move, they are used a lot.

"We are also concerned that there will be an increase in vehicle movements - where does that make sense?

"Rubbish and recycling is the one service that affects everybody in Cornwall - it needs to be considered seriously.

"Somebody less ethical than most could start fly-tipping if their rubbish is going to be collected less regularly.

"I suspect that there will be calls to look at taking this back in-house. 

"The fact that Cornwall Council is buying the vehicles anyway… some say that we don't have the employees but they could be transferred from the current operator.

"We seem to be in a situation where we will be paying more and getting less and where is the climate emergency in all of this?"

Linda Taylor

The council's Cabinet will consider a report on the waste and recycling service when it meets on Wednesday (Nov13).

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