Rethink on waste plan

PUBLISHED: 10:07 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010

COUNCILLORS have insisted on a second trial of fortnightly waste collection scheme before it is rolled out across the district. A fortnightly system has been piloted in Witchford and was initially deemed a success as it halved the amount of waste the vil

COUNCILLORS have insisted on a second trial of fortnightly waste collection scheme before it is rolled out across the district.

A fortnightly system has been piloted in Witchford and was initially deemed a success as it halved the amount of waste the village sent to landfill.

However, concerns have been raised about residents' dissatisfaction with the scheme.

Councillors also fear that Witchford does not represent East Cambridgeshire as a whole because of its proximity to the Grunty Fen Landfill site - it is thought that villagers may have been taking household waste to the site at weekends.

Under the fortnightly scheme, introduced last November, normal rubbish is collected in black bags one week, while villagers put out a bag for garden and food waste, and a black box for bottles, cans and paper, the following week.

East Cambridgeshire District Council's environment and transport committee agreed last week to carry out a second trial of the scheme before committing East Cambridgeshire as a whole.

Witchford councillor Ian Allen, who proposed the motion, said he has heard misgivings about the scheme in the village.

"From the council's point of view, the Witchford scheme is an outstanding success - 11 tonnes of waste going to landfill has dropped down to five," he said.

"But there is still a rumbling of disquiet about it. Although it was against the officers' recommendations, I wanted to carry out a second trial because we are going to let out a contract worth in the region of £20million - we must have customer satisfaction and value for money."

He said residents have raised concerns in the past about keeping household waste on their premises for nearly two weeks.

It has not yet been decided where the trial, costing about £20,000, will take place, but the south of the district has been recommended because of its distance from Grunty Fen.

The landfill site has not reported a significant increase since the Witchford trial began, but Cllr Allen said villagers' waste may not represent enough of the overall total at the site to register.

"I look on the second trial as spending £20,000 to safeguard an investment of £20m," he said.

n Can a fortnightly collection system work in East Cambridgeshire or do you have concerns about having waste collected every other week? E-mail your views to editor@elystandard.co.uk

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