Lib Dems Dig Up Plans For Weekly Bin Collections

RESIDENTS in East Cambridgeshire recycle less than any other area of Cambridgeshire - just one third of all waste - so Liberal Democrats have revealed their plans to change our behaviour. Haddenham councillor Ian Allen, will ask a full council meeting on

RESIDENTS in East Cambridgeshire recycle less than any other area of Cambridgeshire - just one third of all waste - so Liberal Democrats have revealed their plans to change our behaviour.

Haddenham councillor Ian Allen, will ask a full council meeting on July 31 to consider introducing fortnightly rubbish collections - claiming they have helped other districts in the county to recycle nearly half of all waste.

He will also ask for an urgent review of the service provided by waste collection company Veolia, whose contract with the council is worth more than £1million per year.

"We are the dirty boy of the county," said Cllr Allen. "Fortnightly waste collection would offer pretty strong encouragement for people to think about how much they throw out, but what I want to know is why we are so far behind everyone else."


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The Ely Standard reported in June that residents in Haddenham and Ely have had uncollected recyclables festering on their doorsteps for up to seven days.

In each case, council officers stepped into the breach - some visiting residents' homes out of hours to see for themselves the state that Veolia left recycling bags in, and delivering plastic bags in person to complainants' homes.

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Conservative councillors, insist the move to fortnightly collections would be unpopular and that problems with the contractor will be resolved.

Soham councillor James Palmer said it was the single most important issue at the last election, with a majority of residents he spoke to advocating weekly collections.

His colleague Mike Rouse added: "In a family of four we do generate a lot of waste. At this time of year and in hot weather, weekly collections work well. I don't think we [the council] realised how much waste people would put out for recycling, which has caused some teething problems with Veolia, but I am confident we can resolve that in time to avoid landfill tax."

A council spokesperson agreed that East Cambs sends the least amount of waste to landfill, but acknowledged there was more to be done. Since chief executive John Hill met with Veolia on July 4 they have decided to:

nProvide costings for delivering a yearly stock of bin and recycling bags to homes

nLog and collate all complaints at the council, not via Veolia, to provide accurate information about ongoing issues, and take them back to Veolia at regular meetings.

nEmploy a sustainability officer

Government and EU targets state that all UK households should recycle 50 per cent of their waste by 2015, or be heavily taxed on the amount they send to landfill. Earlier this year Cambridgeshire County Council has entered into a £723million contract with privately-owned waste management company Donarbon, who will build a network of new recycling centres across the county and a state of the art plant at Waterbeach to treat waste.

What do you think about recycling and rubbish collection in your area? Contact the Ely Standard on 01353 667831, write to us at 38 Market Street, Ely CB7 4LS or email editor@ely-standard.co.uk. If you would like to report a recycling issue to the council, contact them on 01353 665555.

Factfile

Recycling rates (2005-06)

Huntingdonshire 48% (5th in UK)

South Cambridgeshire 49.4% (3rd in UK)

Cambridge City 35.2%

Fenland 47%

East Cambs 31.6%

National Average 33%

North Kesteven, Lincolnshire 51.5% (best in UK)

Tower Hamlets, London 8% (worst in UK)

East Cambs sends 19,000 tons of waste to landfill each year.

Source: DEFRA

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