Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Want to avoid fortnightly rubbish collections? - Fill in the Council's survey

Cornwall Council is currently conducting a survey about waste collections. It's a massively important questionnaire because it includes the issue of moving to fortnightly collections for general waste. It's therefore a shame that the consultation is being conducted over Christmas when most people are busy with family and other things.

However, over 1500 people have so far completed the survey and I would encourage all readers to do so too if they live in Cornwall. You can take part by clicking here.

The big issue, as I have mentioned, is the potential to move to fortnightly general rubbish collections. The Council is considering whether to start collecting food waste on a weekly basis. They are also considering having recycling collected weekly - but this is far less likely, I understand.

The thinking is that, if food waste - likely to be the smelliest rubbish - is collected weekly then recycling and 'black bag' waste can be collected fortnightly.

The downside - as far as I am concerned - is as follows:

First - that most people will not keep rubbish indoors for up to two weeks. Once sacks are placed outside, they attract seagulls, rats, cats and dogs. We all know how disgusting it is when a rubbish bag is ripped open and the contents spill down the street. If we move to fortnightly collections then this will happen more and more which will do immense harm to our tourist industry.

There is also the problem with disposable nappies. Parents definitely don't want those hanging around for up to two weeks.

The alternative is to move from black bags to wheelie bins. But many people don't have space for these (particularly not three or four bins as some areas have) and what happens to those people who live on hills - as many do in Launceston. I can quite imagine that most of the bins will end up in the river within a few weeks.

My personal view is that we need to retain weekly black bag collections. I'm not opposed to separate collections for food waste where people want them, but the basic service needs to be retained. I'm disappointed that the survey appears to say that keeping the current service can only be done at a higher cost than previously or at the expense of other services. No justification is given for this statement which seems intended to bias the survey.

Regrettably, if the recent parking consultation is anything to go by, this proposal will also prove to be a foregone conclusion as it appears that once a proposal is consulted on, it must be followed through.

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